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in the hope that they may learn to value the character of their 
ancestor with his " simplicity and integrity" his " robust clear 
and manful intellect " and " the quiet valour that defies all 
fortune " as Carlyle portrayed him ; and that they may one day 
read this record of his life's work in the spirit of the following 
lines from Gibbon's Autobiography, which have often been in my 
mind in compiling it. 

" For my own part, could I draw my pedigree from a general, 
a statesman, or a celebrated author^ I should study their lives 
with the diligence of filial love. In the investigation of past 
events our curiosity is stimulated by the immediate or indirect 
reference to ourselves." 


NEITHER the natural interest nor the possession of 
literary materials which I have inherited as a great- 
grandson of Mallet du Pan would have justified me in 
undertaking an account of his career for English readers 
if that career had been destitute of historical impor- 
tance, or if any such account had been in existence 
which was complete and at the same time accessible. 
On both these grounds, however, some justification 
for the present attempt may, I think, be pleaded. It 
will be sufficient, in this place, to refer to the emphatic 
testimony of authorities like Carlyle, Sainte-Beuve and 
Taine to the position of this once celebrated political 
writer as a pioneer of modern journalism, as a champion 
of constitutional Monarchy in the Revolution, as a 
confidential adviser of Louis XVI. and of the Allied 
Courts ; and a few words only will be needed to 
explain, with the assistance of the appended list of 
sources of information, how matters stand with regard 
to existing publications. 

In spite of all that has been written about Mallet du 
Pan during the last half century, it would not be easy 
even for a French reader to lay his hand on any book, 
with the exception of M. Valette's short but admirable 
monograph, which gives a comprehensive view of his 


work and opinions, and of the verdict of modern 
historical criticism upon his writings. Those writings 
lie buried in dozens of newspaper volumes and 
pamphlets and, leaving aside the political correspond- 
ence for the Court of Vienna, they are practically 
unobtainable at the present day. The biography by 
M. Sayous, in which portions of his published work 
together with his private correspondence appeared, 
was written before the recovery of the Vienna cor- 
respondence ; it is, therefore, to that extent incom- 
plete, and it has long been out of print. Finally, the 
rehabilitation of the publicist's reputation having been 
a gradual process, ti\z. pieces justificatives are scattered 
over a considerable number of volumes and articles 
which it is necessary to consult. Such very briefly 
is the position in France ; in England nothing what- 
ever has been published about Mallet du Pan except 
two articles in the Edinburgh Review, notwithstanding 
that he wrote continually on English affairs from the 
War of American Independence onwards, and that his 
political point of view was largely the result of his 
English studies and sympathies. 

The name of his son, John Lewis Mallet (1775- 
1861), so often recurs in the following pages that a 
word or two about his subsequent career may possibly 
be of interest. His life, devoid as it is of external 
incident, presents a striking contrast to that of the 
father whose stormy destiny he had shared in his 
youth. Remaining in this country after the early 
death of Mallet du Pan, he held during the greater 
part of the half century which followed the same 


office in the English Civil Service. In 1800 he was 
appointed by Mr. Pitt to a subordinate post under 
the Board of Audit, and shortly afterwards pro- 
moted to the Secretaryship from which he retired in 
1849. He was twice married, first to a daughter of 
Mr. Charles Baring, youngest brother of the first Sir 
Francis Baring, and after her death, without children, 
to Miss Frances Merivale. Although a foreigner by 
birth, and a man of fastidious and retiring disposition, 
he won for himself a high place in the regard of his 
friends, among whom were several men distinguished 
in politics and literature. In his earlier years indeed 
he lived a good deal in the society of public men, 
principally, as his diaries with their mention of names 
like those of Romilly, Mackintosh, Lord Grenville, 
Lord Holland, Lord Lansdowne, Tierney, Brougham, 
the Barings and Francis Horner seem to show, 
among the Whigs. He was, with Ricardo and James 
Mill, one of the founders of the Political Economy 
Club ; but with the exception of his official work he 
took no part in public affairs, and rather shunned than 
sought the recognition which his sound judgment and 
literary ability might have won for him. His leisure 
was occupied by social intercourse, by reading and 
correspondence, and by the habit of committing to 
commonplace books and diaries his criticisms of men 
and books and his observations on passing events, both 
public and domestic. His second son, the late Sir 
Louis Mallet, from whom the above account is derived, 
has left a description of his character : 

" My father possessed, in common with his sister, 


Madame Colladon, the quality which is only expressed 
by the word 'distinction'. In his manner he retained 
much of the polished courtesy and graceful forms of the 
older French school, while traces of his English train- 
ing were evident in the simplicity and repose habitual 
to well-bred Englishmen. His extensive reading and 
varied tastes, the interesting experiences of his life 
and the good sense and moderation of his opinions, 
together with his warm and ready sympathies, gave to 
his conversation a peculiar charm, enhanced by his 
refined and critical aversion to careless and slovenly 
forms of expression. Although so unlike him in many 
respects, he inherited from Mallet du Pan his perfect 
integrity and noble independence of character. No 
man was ever more free from all taint of self-seeking 
or worldliness, or presented a happier combination 
of liberality and sound economy, or cultivated with 
greater success reasonable and moderate views of 
human life." 

Mr. J. L. Mallet was the author of an autobio- 
graphical sketch, discovered a few years since among 
the family papers and privately printed by Sir Louis 
Mallet, from which I have quoted freely under the 
title of " Reminiscences," especially for the later years 
from 1793, when the writer rejoined his family after 
absences in England and Geneva for the purpose of 
education and business. The autobiography is written 
in an attractive style in English, and gives a nar- 
rative of the life and wanderings of Mallet du Pan 
during the Revolution, and his final settlement in 
England. With its comments on political events and 
its description of people and places it supplies to 
some extent both the personal detail and the general 


atmosphere which are so invaluable in biography, and 
which without it would be so greatly wanting in the 
present case. 

For Mallet du Pan himself, pre-occupied as he was 
with public affairs, had little leisure, and with all his 
power as a writer but little taste, for dwelling on the 
purely personal or picturesque details of the dramatic 
events of which he was a witness. His story has, 
indeed, as a study of character a deep human interest, 
the interest attaching to a consistent and courageous 
struggle against overwhelming odds. But it is as a 
study of opinions, as a record and analysis of political 
thought and action, that an account of Mallet du Pan 
has its main value. For this reason, and because the 
point of view from which the well-worn subject of the 
French Revolution is treated in his writings is still 
perhaps comparatively unfamiliar, it has been absolutely 
necessary to deal more largely than I should otherwise 
have desired to do with the historical circumstances 
which form the setting to the character and ideas I 
have had to describe. 

I should like, in conclusion, to express my grate- 
ful acknowledgment to my uncle, the Rev. Henry 
F. Mallet, the only surviving grandson of Mallet du 
Pan, for his advice and assistance while this volume 
was in the press, and for having some years ago given 
into my charge the family papers and the fine portrait 
which is reproduced as a frontispiece. 

B. M. 


A. Family Papers. Consisting of letters from Mallet du Pan, his friends 

and numerous correspondents ; private note-books kept by Mallet 
du Pan, drafts of various official memoranda, and letters from 
the Duke of Brunswick and Comte d'Artois. These have been 
through the hands of MM. Sayous and Andre Michel. 
John Lewis Mallet. An autobiographical retrospect of the first 
twenty-five years of his life. Printed for private circulation with 
a Preface by Sir Louis Mallet. 1890. See Preface. 

B. Newspapers edited by Mallet du Pan : 

Annales politiques civiles et litteraires du xviii e siecle. From 1778- 
1780, edited by Mallet du Pan in conjunction with Linguet, 
and by Mallet du Pan alone from 1781-1783 (36 numbers in 5 
vols.). Most of this is material, hitherto unused, and is im- 
portant as bringing out his position as a pioneer of modern 
journalism. See especially Chapter II. 

Memoires historiques politiques et litte'raires sur I'etat present de V Europe. 
10 numbers, from March 1783. i vol. 

Mercure de France (Paris), 1783-1792. 53 volumes. See Chapters 
III. and IV. 

Mercure Britanniqne (London), August 1798 to March 1800. 36 
numbers. 4 vols. See Chapter IX. 

C. Pamphlets (published during the Revolutionary period by Mallet du 

Pan) : 
Du Principe des Factions en general et de ceux qui divisent la France. 

(This appeared first in different numbers of the Mercure.) 

Paris, 1791. 
Considerations sur la nature de la Revolution en France et sur les 

causes qui en prolongent la duree. Brussels, 1793. 
Correspondance politique pour servir a I'histoire du republicanisme 

Franfais. Switzerland, 1796. 


Lettre a un Ministre d'Etat sur les rapports entre le systlme politique de 

la Rlpublique Franpaise et celui de sa Revolution. London, 1797. 
Quotidienne. Three letters in this paper to a member of the Corps 

Legislatif (Dumolard) on Venice, Genoa and Portugal. May 

and June 1797. See Sayous, II., 302-7. 
Essai historique sur la destruction de la Ligue et de la liberte 

Helvetique, 1798. (First published in Nos. I., II. and III. of 

the Mercure Britannique.) 

D. Biographies, etc., of Mallet du Pan : 

Memoires et Correspondance de Mallet du Pan. By A. Sayous. Paris, 
1851. This is the main authority for his life ; it is based on 
his private papers and printed writings, and written with the 
assistance of his son J. L. Mallet. 

Correspondance inidite de Mallet du Pan avec la Cour de Vienne, 
1794-1798. By Andre Michel, with a preface by H. Taine. 
Paris, 1884. See Chapters VI. and VII. 

Lettres de Mallet du Pan & Saladin Egerton, 1794-1800. Published 
by Victor van Berchem. 38 pages. Geneva, 1896. 

Deux Lettres inedites. Published by the Societe d'Histoire et 
d'Arch6ologie de Geneve, 1886. 

La Revolution Franqaise vue de Vetranger. By Fran9ois Descostes. 
Tours, 1897. This contains, with other matter, a portion of 
the political correspondence for the Court of Lisbon. It 
covers much the same ground as M. Michel's publication, but 
for a shorter period (1794-1796 only), and it throws useful light 
on diplomatic intrigue at Berne at that time. It contains a 
very favourable appreciation of Mallet du Pan by M. Descostes. 
See Chapter VI. 

Mallet du Pan et la Revolution Franqaise. By M. Gaspard Valette. 
Geneva, 1893. 100 pages. 

E. Some Articles and Essays on the subject : 

"Causeries du Lundi." Two articles by Sainte-Beuve (1852). Vol. 

" La Question de Monarchic ou de Republique du 9 Thermidor au 
18 Brumaire." Two papers in Le Correspondant, 1873, by Paul 
Thureau-Dangin, which make the attitude of Mallet du Pan in 
the Royalist party their chief text. They were republished in 
M. Thureau-Dangin's volume, Royalistes et Rtpublicains. Paris, 

Articles by M. Auguste Dide in La Revolution Franpaise, Revue 
Historique, Vol. V., 1883, and Vol. VI., 1884 a strange ex- 
hibition of revolutionary prejudice. By M. Gabriel Monod in 
Revue Historique, Vol. XXV., May, August, 1884. By M. de 
Lescure in Le Correspondant, Vol. 138, 1884. 


Article in Edinburgh Review. April 1852. 

Article in Edinburgh Review. January 1885. (As the writer of this 
article I have been allowed by Messrs. Longmans, Green, & Co. 
to incorporate a portion of it in one of my chapters. A letter 
from Thomas Carlyle to Mr. J. L. Mallet dated 3ist October 
1851 (quoted in Chapter X.) was first published in this article.) 

F. The general Histories and Biographies are too numerous and too well 
known to need mention. The following, however, have been of 
special use to me : 
Sybel's French Revolution. 
Sorel, L'Europe et la Revolution Franqaise. 
Taine, France Contemporaine. 

Godet, Histoire litteraire de la Suisse Franqaise. 1890. 
Rossel, Histoire litteraire de la Suisse Romande. 1889-1892. 
Percy et Maugras, La vie intime de Voltaire aux Delices et a Ferney. 

Paris, 1885. 

Hatin, Histoire de la Presse en France. 
Life and Correspondence of Gouverneur Morris (and an article of the 

present writer on him in Macmillan's Magazine, November 1885). 
Mtmoires de Malouet. Paris, 1874. (In which important letters from 

J. L. Mallet to Mallet du Pan from London and Paris are printed.) 
Madame de Stael. By Lady Blennerhassett. French Edition. 

Paris, 1890. A complete and most valuable treatise on the 

whole course of the Revolution. 


EARLY LIFE, 1749-1780. 


Settlement of the Mallet Family in Geneva Ancestry and Parent- 
age of Jacques Mallet du Pan Education and Early In- 
fluences Geneva in the Eighteenth Century and Influence 
of Voltaire Political Disturbances at Geneva, in which Mallet 
takes part on Popular Side Mallet at Ferney, at Cassel His 
Marriage Doutes sur Feloquence His Political Attitude Lin- 
guet and the Annales Politiques Mallet's Start and Character 
as a Journalist or Contemporary Historian His Judgments 
on Voltaire and the Philosophes Rousseau I 


General Observations in the Annales on European Politics in 
Eighteenth Century France and England in 1781 Influence 
of the Party System on the Conduct of the American War 
Unpatriotic Conduct of Whig Factions Results of the War . 2& 


WORK IN PARIS, 1783-1789. 

Fresh Troubles in Geneva, 1780-1782 Memoires Historiques 
Panckoucke and French Journalism Mallet du Pan offered 
Editorship of Political Portion of Mercure de France Settles 
in Paris 1783 Life and Work in Paris Development of 
Mallet's Opinions Description of the Mercure Comments 
on Events in Foreign Countries Commercial Treaty with 
England Trial of Warren Hastings The Censorship and 
French Politics Holland Vergennes Montmorin Mallet's 




Independence His Notes on Condition of Paris before the 
Revolution Journalists Calonne Vergennes Anecdotes 
Political Situation in 1788-1789 Summary of Mallet's Political 
Education by Taine 5 2 


MERCURB DE FRANCE, 1789-1792. 

Assembly of States-General Mallet du Pan Reorganises the 
Mtrcure His Analysis of the Debates He Champions the 
Party of Constitutional Reform Their Failure Mirabeau 
Attacks on Mallet begin after the Days of October Parties 
in the Assembly Maury Cazales Montlosier Malouet 
The Mercure opposes Violence against Persons and Property 
He Visits Geneva Foreign Policy Judgment on Necker 
and Mirabeau Patriotic Deputation to Mallet His Defence 
of the Clergy and Continued Attempts to Enlighten the 
Public as to prevailing Disorder and Anarchy The Flight 
to Varennes and Enforced Suspension of Mercure after Domi- 
ciliary Visit to Mallet's House Description of Life in Paris 
(Note) Resumption of Editorship Articles The Approach 
of War Policy of Brissot and the Girondins The Emigres 
Attitude of Robespierre and of Louis XVI. towards War The 
King Advised by Montmorin, Malouet and Mallet du Pan 
Mallet's Opinion of the King Mallet's Determined Opposition 
to the War His Prophetic Anticipations War Declared 
Mallet's Position becomes Impossible Abandons Mercure 
and is Entrusted with a Mission from Louis XVI. in May 
1792 8 5 


Mission to Frankfort The Brunswick Manifesto Mallet goes 
to Geneva, then to Lausanne Visit to Brussels His Rela- 
tions with Ministers, Elgin and Mercy-Argenteau The Arch- 
duke Charles Publishes the Considerations Its Effect 
Coburg Campaign Criticisms on Conduct of the War Settles 
at Berne Reports to Lord Elgin and British Government 
describing the Conventional Regime Account of Robespierre 
and the Committee Anecdotes (Note) Jealousies of the Allied 
Powers European Situation at the Close of 1794 . . . 146 





Begins Regular Political Correspondence for Courts of Vienna, 
Berlin and Lisbon 1795 Reaction after Thermidor Jeunesse 
Doree Lethargy of the French Exhaustion of Allies Hopes 
of Peace and of the Termination of the Revolution Peace 
of Bale Sufferings and Death of the Dauphin The New 
King approaches Mallet du Pan through Sainte-Aldegonde 
The Declaration of Verona Louis XVIII. and Charles 
X. Quiberon Expedition The Struggle in France i&h 
Vendemiaire and Establishment of the Directory Mallet's 
Disappointment Description of Berne and of his Life 
there Relations with British Ministers The Lameth 
Intrigue and Wickham Mallet's Friends and Correspondents 
Lally-Tollendal Mounier Malouet Montlosier Sainte- 
Aldegonde De Castries Gallatin de Pradt, etc. . . . 185 



The Directory Described in Vienna Correspondence The 
Directors and the Constitution of 1795 The People The 
Government Finance Foreign Policy Conduct of the War 
Criticism of Emigres and Allies Policy Recommended by 
Mallet du Pan The Italian Campaign of 1796 Fresh 
Pamphlet, ' Correspondance Politique' Discouragement of the 
Writer. , 



Mallet's Son in London Lettre ft, un Ministre d'Etat Hopes of 
his Friends of a Settlement of Affairs and their Admiration 
for Bonaparte Mallet does not share these Hopes Pichegru 
The Elections in Spring of 1797 bring about a Deadlock 
which ends with the Coup d'Etat of i8th Brumaire Mallet's 
Comments Alleged Failure to recognise Bonaparte His 
Criticism of Bonaparte in Letters to Quotidienne which lead 
to his Expulsion from Berne He searches for a Home 
elsewhere in Switzerland and finally settles for the Winter at 
Friburg The Abbe de Lisle and Portalis Prisons under the 
Terror Conquest of Switzerland and Annexation of Geneva 
Mallet excluded by Name from French Citizenship He 
Determines to seek Refuge in England and resume Journalism 254 





Part of England in the War, and State of Public Opinion at 
the Time of Mallet's Arrival in May 1798 Mallet's Plan to 
start a French Newspaper in London Encouraged by Lord 
Liverpool and Windham but Neglected by Government 
The Mercure Bntannique Started Its Character and Temper 
Articles on the Destruction of the Swiss Confederation 
Success of the Work Life and Society in London Rela- 
tions with the Emigres Letter from Monsieur Attacked 
by the Ultra-Royalists He Rebukes them Reception by 
Monsieur The Agony of the Directory Character of Sieyes 
Bonaparte's Return Mallet's Recognition of the Significance 
of Bonaparte's Coup d'Etat, and of the Wisdom of his Domestic 
Policy His Health gives way His Letter to Wickham 
His Death and Funeral Government Recognition for his 
Family Character drawn by his Daughter (Note) . . 284 


Vicissitudes of Mallet du Pan's Reputation and their Causes His 
Character and the Qualities which fitted him for the Work 
of a Contemporary Historian His Independence His 
Political Capacity and Clearness of Vision Testimony of 
Carlyle, Taine, Gentz, Sainte-Beuve His Style The Course 
of his Opinions during the Revolution His Analysis of 
the Jacobin Dogma His Liberalism Accusation that He 
Counselled and Fomented the War His Foresight, and his 
Championship of Constitutional Monarchy Justified . . 333 


Article from the Mercure Britannique on the Influence of the 

Philosophes on the Revolution 357 

INDEX 363 




THE story of the branch of the Mallet family connected 
with Mallet du Pan derives some interest and diversity 
from the religious and political persecutions which drove 
them successively from France to Geneva and from 
Geneva and the Continent to England. In Geneva, 
indeed, they took deep root, but the words in which 
John Lewis Mallet commented on their expulsion in 
1797 from the country which had been their home for 
close upon two hundred and fifty years are descriptive of 
much in the family history. "To us," he wrote in natural 
despondency, "were not given the peaceable habitation 
and the sure dwelling and the quiet resting-place." 
Their wanderings, according to a circumstantial but 
legendary tradition with which they adorned their 
pedigree, began with the second Crusade and a 
temporary settlement in Antioch, but their original 
home was undoubtedly in Normandy, the home of many 
families of the name, including that of the comrade in 
arms of William the Conqueror who settled in England. 
The earliest authentic date of the family with which 
we are concerned is 1530, when a certain Jean Mallet 


married Marguerite de Jeaux ; and its first migration 
occurred in 1558 (the year of Queen Elizabeth's 
accession), when their son Jacques, a Huguenot cloth 
merchant of Rouen, left France, then on the verge of 
the civil war between the two religions which culmin- 
ated in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and settled 
at Geneva, there to enjoy the free exercise of the 
Protestant faith under the stern ecclesiastical and 
moral rule of Calvin. In 1566, two years after the 
death of the great reformer, Jacques Mallet was re- 
ceived in the first rank and company of the freemen 
of the city, he and his children, ' et les enfans de ses 
enfans, nJs, et a naitre, naturels et Ugitimes, jusqua 
finfinij to live there in the reformed religion. His 
" Lettre de Bourgeoisie," signed by G. Gallatin, Sec- 
retary of State, and dated 24th April 1 566, adds the 
curious provision that, in consideration of the privi- 
leges and franchises conferred upon him, he should pay 
six 6cus (For, and give to the Republic a ' sceillot de 
cuir bouilli (leather bucket), pour la defense centre 
le feu. 1 He married Laura, daughter of Leonard 
Sartoris of Quiers in Piedmont who had died in the 
prisons of the Inquisition and who was the ancestor of 
a distinguished Genevese family. By her he had ten 
children, and in the course of the two succeeding 
centuries 1 70 persons of the name were born in Geneva, 
where their prosperity is attested by the erection in 
the middle of the seventeenth century of one of the 
handsomest houses in the city, the Maison Mallet in 
the Cour de St. Pierre. Although, in the words of 
the Genevese chronicle, ' riche et tres bien allife] 
the family produced only two conseillers (PEtat, but 
they were represented continuously in the Council of 


the Two Hundred 1 and were distinguished by several 
men of literary eminence. Various members of the 
family returned at different times to France 2 where 
their descendants now form its most numerous and 
prosperous branch, but the English branch alone is 
descended from Mallet du Pan, the subject of the pre- 
sent memoir, who was himself seventh in direct descent 

1 The Petit Conseil, the executive power, was composed of 
twenty-five magistrates styled nobles et tres honores seigneurs. From 
it were chosen the four syndics of the Republic, including the First 
Syndic, president of the council. The Conseil des Deux Cents was 
the legislature, and its members were called magnifiques seigneurs. 
The title magnificent applied to both councils, but was more com- 
monly used of the Petit Conseil. Both councils were recruited by 
co-optation from among citoyens and bourgeois. The chief function of 
the Conseil General, the electoral body composed of all citoyens and 
bourgeois over twenty-one who paid taxes, was to choose the syndics 
from a list of eight names presented to them by the two higher 

2 Jacques Mallet and Laura Sartoris had a son Jacques (2) who 
married in 1600 Louise Varro, and had a son Jacques (3) who 
married in 1634 Jeanne Thabuis. Their son Etienne, married to 
Helene Rilliet, was father of Jacques (4) (1680-1767), who married 
Isabeau Rigaud, and was father of Etienne above described, the 
father of Mallet du Pan. 

Three branches of this family are re-established in France, 
descending respectively from Gabriel (1572-1651), elder brother to 
Jacques (2), and from two younger brothers of Jacques (3), Louis 
and Joseph. From Gabriel comes the great family of Protestant 
bankers in Paris, which had twenty-four living males a few years 
ago, and the head of which is Alphonse Baron Mallet de Chalmassy, 
Regent of the Bank of France. Among Joseph's descendants were 
General Francois de Mallet (1765-1839), created Baron by Louis 
XVIII. in 1816, who left issue by his marriage with Anne daughter 
of the fifth Viscount Molesworth, and General Paul Henri Mallet 
Prevost, who settling in the United States in 1794 became the 
creator of Frenchtown and founder of an American branch. 


from the Huguenot refugee. His father and mother 
are thus described by their grandson : 

" My grandfather, Etienne Mallet, was brought up 
to the Church, and I have always heard him men- 
tioned as a man of good understanding, mild, agreeable 
manner, and some talents as a preacher. He was 
exemplary in his pastoral and social duties, and for 
some years of his life, and I believe at the time of his 
death, was minister at Celigny, where he was remem- 
bered, even in my time, with feelings of affectionate 
respect. The aristocracy of Geneva was not then 
exempt from the overbearing disposition natural to the 
aristocracy of every country ; and some of them, who 
had country seats at Celigny, were not popular with 
the peasantry. My grandfather, on the contrary, was 
uniformly affable and kind to all ; and was sometimes 
taken to task by his neighbours for his condescension 
and popular manners. 

"He married Mdlle du Pan, of one of the oldest 
magisterial families. 2 My great grandfather Du Pan 
was First Syndic of the Republic, and I have often 
heard an anecdote of him which is characteristic of the 
simplicity of manners of that time. A French envoy, 
who had been lately appointed, on coming to pay his 
first visit of ceremony to the syndic, found him just 
returned from the council, and seated by his kitchen 
fire, in his wig and sword, eating briselets (a sort of 
crisp cake), hot and hot, as fast as they could be made ; 
and as the chimney-mantel admitted of several persons 
being seated under it, the old gentleman invited the 
minister to take a chair and partake of his collation. 

" My grandmother had been handsome ; even in 

1 Reminiscences by J. L. Mallet. 

2 The first Du Pan known was Etienne Du Pan, a landowner at 
Vigon in Piedmont. His great-grandson, Lucain, was received as 
Bourgeois de Geneve in 1488. 


her advanced age she had great remains of beauty, 
a good person, regular and delicate features and 
complexion, her manners were gentle and graceful, 
but the high spirit broke forth when roused by anything 
unbecoming. She was a strictly religious person, and 
had no indulgence for the loose opinions and manners 
that began to prevail in her time. My grandfather's 
circumstances were narrow, and as his father, who lived 
to the age of eighty-seven, survived him six years, his 
chief dependence was on his living of Celigny and his 
wife's fortune, which was small. His income could not 
have exceeded ,300 a year." 

The son of the couple thus described, Jacques, after- 
wards known as Mallet du Pan, 1 was born on the 5th of 
November 1749 at Celigny, a village between Coppet 
and Nyon situated on rising ground which commands fine 
views of the Alps and the lake, and it was there that he 
spent his early years until his father's death which oc- 
curred when he was twelve years old. He was brought 
up at the famous College of Geneva founded by Calvin, 
to whose system of education Geneva owed so much 
of its prosperity, and at fifteen he was removed to the 
Auditoire or University Class where he studied philo- 
sophy and law. He seems to have won distinction in 
his classes, but no formal education can fully explain the 
growth of character, and Mallet du Pan undoubtedly 
owed both his qualities of mind and his preparation for 

1 Persons of the same family at Geneva are distinguished not by 
their Christian names but by the family name of their wives when 
married and of their mothers when single. 6tienne Mallet therefore 
and his son before his marriage were both Mallet du Pan, and the 
latter, having become known as a writer before his marriage, retained 
the name of Mallet du Pan throughout his life, instead of going by 
the name of Mallet Vallier (his wife's name) as he would have done 
had he settled and lived at Geneva in the ordinary course. 


his future career to his citizenship of Geneva, which from 
the middle of the eighteenth century was perhaps the most 
stimulating intellectual centre to be found in Europe. 

Few things in history are more striking than the con- 
trast between the pettiness in territory and population of 
the frontier Republic, and the greatness of the part she 
was destined to play ; between her outward insignifi- 
cance, and the singular and successful energy of her sons. 
Before the Reformation she had wrested her indepen- 
dence from the Dukes of Savoy, independence which 
she maintained only by the strength of her walls and the 
vigilance of her citizens. To the resolution and per- 
tinacity which the Genevese acquired in these struggles, 
the Reformation added stern religious belief and moral 
discipline, and the economic necessities of a State with- 
out natural resources called forth the exercise of intel- 
ligence, power of work, and attention to detail ; and 
encouraged positive and practical views of life at the 
expense of the faculties of humour and imagination. 
Such were the qualities which built up the Protestant 
Rome, the city of refuge into which flowed a stream of 
immigration from France, and they remained character- 
istic of the people through the changes brought by the 
eighteenth century. As persecution ceased a return flow 
of emigration began, active-minded Genevese sought 
fortune in France and other countries, and there was set 
up an exchange of ideas which, combined with the natural 
position of Geneva at a point of junction between North 
and South, transformed the puritan stronghold during 
the eighteenth century into an enlightened cosmopolitan 
centre. The kind of influence which Geneva exercised 
on European thought is shown by the fact that she 
repaid with Rousseau the debt she had incurred from 


France in Calvin, that it was to Geneva that Montes- 
quieu was obliged to resort to publish the Esprit des 
Lois, that De Saussure, Delolme, and many eminent 
names in literature, history, politics and science adorned 
her annals, that she received in her neighbourhood the 
author of the Decline and Fall. But what gave the 
greatest celebrity to Geneva and her lake as a place of 
pilgrimage for all that was distinguished in Europe was 
the settlement there of the literary idol of the century, 
Voltaire. The story of his relations with the Republic is 
not the least significant, it is certainly the most entertain- 
ing, chapter in the annals of Geneva, ' cite 1 sournoise ou 
jamais Pon ne rit ' as he described it. The Government 
were from the first divided between pride at receiving 
Voltaire and alarm at the pernicious influence of his 
opinions ; for he arrived at the moment when the conflict 
between the old and the new ideas was already causing 
dissension in the little State. The theological tyranny of 
Calvin's formidable consistory harmonised ill with the 
spirit of which Voltaire was the incarnation, but it was 
not on this point that his struggle with Genevese puri- 
tanism began. Inhabitants of the city who returned from 
Paris, enriched by operations of commerce and banking, 
which had now become important sources of wealth in 
Geneva itself, were impatient of the restraints of sumptu- 
ary laws of almost unexampled rigour ; men who had set 
out with their wives in chaises deposte brought them back 
covered with jewels and decked in the latest Parisian 
fashion, in brilliant equipages, followed by grooms and 
riding horses, and with a taste for frivolous amusements 
which the literary and scientific distractions of their native 
town were not sufficient to gratify. They returned to a 
town whose laws enjoined the wearing of serge and black 


cloth, punished with imprisonment tailors or hat makers 
who should introduce any new fashions without the 
express permission of the council, looked upon dancing 
with horror as having caused the death of St. John the 
Baptist, and had with great difficulty succeeded in re- 
pressing the national taste of the people for theatrical 
representations of all kinds. The mass of the bourgeois 
and the people were still devoted to the Calvinist regime, 
but Voltaire's arrival was sure to give an immense 
stimulus to the desire for change in the upper classes, 
and Voltaire's gaiety and social charm soon attracted 
many of them, including even pasteurs and sons of 
the magistrates, to his hospitable domain at Les Delices. 
Voltaire's passion was the theatre, then at the height of 
its vogue in France where private theatricals were the 
main diversion of society, and all his difficulties with the 
Genevese Government, who were backed by Rousseau 
and the poorer classes, arose from his ceaseless efforts to 
set up a stage in his own house and even to establish 
theatrical representations in Geneva itself. The jealous 
alarm of the elders of the city at the success of his efforts 
to seduce the patrician class from the path of virtue, 
combined with the scandal of the unauthorised publica- 
tion of La Pucelle, drove him from his first home within 
the territory of the Republic to Lausanne, and finally 
caused him to settle at Ferney, situated in a French 
enclave between Geneva and the Bernese Pays de 
Vaud, where he was safe from their interference. Once 
established there he gave full rein to his tastes, and the 
best of Genevese society was delighted by and partici- 
pated in the performance of a long series of his tragedies, 
and enjoyed intercourse with the literary and fashionable 
celebrities of France and other countries. The disputes 


caused by the malicious wit of the old philosopher and 
the austere fanaticism of the rulers of Geneva, which 
divided Genevese society and did much to undermine 
the moral and religious tradition of the ' petilissime, 
parvulissime et p&dantissime ' Republic, culminated in 
the burning of Candide by the public executioner of 
Geneva, and Voltaire thereupon proceeded in charac- 
teristic fashion to revenge himself by sowing broadcast 
in the city the blasphemous libels against Christianity 
which disgraced his later years. 

When Mallet du Pan appeared upon the scene 
(literally as well as figuratively, for we hear of him as 
a youthful actor at Ferney) these disturbances were 
matters of ancient history. Just as happened in the 
case of the revolution in France, political agitation had 
followed upon social and literary upheaval, agitation 
which threatened the very existence of the State. In 
Geneva in her decadence, no less than in France, 
there was plenty of material for political discontent. 
The constitutional struggles of Geneva derive their 
main interest from the curious manner in which they 
prefigure the great convulsion in France, and from 
the connection with the miniature State of the two 
great names of Voltaire and Rousseau ; of men like 
Necker, the Finance Minister of the Monarchy, and his 
still more famous daughter, Madame de Stael ; of 
Claviere, the Finance Minister of the Convention ; of Sir 
Francis dTvernois, the pamphleteer patronised by Pitt ; 
of Dumont, the assistant and biographer of Mirabeau 
and the interpreter of Bentham, and of Mallet du Pan 
himself. But they have an interest of their own, not 
only as the story of the inevitable end of one of those 
city-states which have done so much for civilisation, 


but also as being full of lessons for political students. 
Owing to the growth of a class outside the original 
constitution of the Republic it had gradually been 
transformed into an aristocratic oligarchy. The popu- 
lation of Geneva was divided into three political 
classes : (i) the citizens or burghers who enjoyed polit- 
ical rights and were both electors and alone eligible for 
public employments ; (2) the natifs, or sons of inhabi- 
tants who had not been admitted to the freedom of the 
city, who continued generation after generation to be 
deprived of all political privileges, and who were even 
debarred from the exercise of certain higher branches of 
trade and from holding commissions in the town militia ; 
and (3) " inhabitants " or strangers settled at Geneva. 
The natifs became in the course of time by far the most 
numerous class, and, as they increased in number and 
intelligence, they grew more and more impatient of their 
position. Their exasperation led them at last to open acts 
of hostility which ended in the banishment of some of 
the most distinguished of their number. The first of 
these disturbances occurred in the years 1768, 1769 and 
1770, just when Mallet du Pan was growing into man- 
hood. A Genevese, it has been said, imbibes the love 
of politics with his mother's milk, and a youth of Mallet's 
ardent turn of mind was not likely to remain long in- 
different to the conflict of opinions about him. At the 
age of twenty, then, he sowed his wild oats as a demo- 
cratic agitator by writing a pamphlet 1 which became 
the gospel of the natifs, and was publicly burnt before 
the Hotel de Ville as a "seditious libel, an assault on 

1 Compte rendu de la defense des ritoyens bourgeois de Geneve, 1771 
(160 pages). 


the State, the councils, the citizens and the burgesses". 
As his son observes : l 

" My father's family and connections were all on 
the aristocratic side, some of his nearest relatives 
being members of the Government ; but the same 
generous feeling, although in a different direction, 
which many years afterwards enlisted his talents on 
the side of an oppressed minority in France, induced 
him in the year 1770, when hardly of age, to embrace 
the popular side at Geneva. It required no little 
strength of character and political courage, situated as 
he was, to quit his natural ranks, and, disregarding the pre- 
judices and pride of opinion of his family and friends, to 
advocate those higher principles of freedom now generally 
acknowledged, but which were at variance with the policy 
and practice both of ancient and modern Republics." 

This exploit of Mallet du Pan was not so inconsis- 
tent with his later opinions as a superficial view would 
suggest. It shows him at all events a typical product 
of his country at a time when, as we have seen, new 
wine was being poured so rapidly into old bottles. In 
his moral outlook with its passionate and courageous 
earnestness, and in the positive and practical character 
of his intellect, he was a Genevese of the old school ; 
in his love of freedom and justice, in his popular sym- 
pathies, and in his willingness to examine new ideas on 
their merits, he was a child of his age. It would not 
have been difficult to predict what his final attitude 
would be towards the political philosophy which pre- 
tended to regenerate mankind by building afresh on the 
ruins of existing religious and political systems, but he 
was still to feel his way, and form his opinions in his 
own characteristic fashion by actual observation. From 

1 Reminiscences. 


this point of view his introduction to Voltaire and his 
circle was an event of capital importance to the young 
student of politics. Struck by his independence and 
probably not displeased at seeing his old enemies of 
the council attacked by one of their own class, Voltaire 
sought his acquaintance and asked him to Ferney, where 
he was a frequent guest until the philosopher's death 
eight years later, in 1778. To his patronage Mallet du 
Pan owed his recommendation in 1772 for the post of 
Professor of History and Literature to the Landgrave 
of Hesse Cassel. Mallet du Pan accepted the offer and 
proceeded to Cassel where he delivered an inaugural 
address, 1 but the serious and independent young Gene- 
vese was hardly the man to suit a German prince 
whose flirtation with French philosophy did not pre- 
vent him from selling, a little later, battalions of his 
subjects, at so much a head, to the British Govern- 
ment for the purpose of putting down the rising 
freedom of the United States. He accordingly re- 
mained but a short time at Cassel from whence he 
returned in the following year to Geneva. His son 
hints that there were other reasons for his return. A 
college friendship at this time took him frequently to 
Aubonne, a beautifully situated town in the Pays de 
Vaud, where he met the young lady who was to be- 
come his wife, Mdlle Vallier of that place. He was 
often accompanied to Aubonne by some of his Geneva 
friends, particularly by a certain Italian count whose 
pursuits assimilated to his own. 

"These young men were great lions, for they fre- 
quented Voltaire's house ; they had seen some of his 

1 Entitled Quelle est F influence de la philosophic sur les belles 
lettres, on the 8th April, 1772, Cassel. 


tragedies acted there, and were full of the library 
novelties of the time. . . . The Bailli, or governor 
of the district, happened to be a man of education, 
whose wife took pains to make his house agreeable 
to his friends, and occasionally got up a French 
play for the young people ; my father and mother 
acted together in the Gageure Imprdvue of Sedaine, 
my mother undertaking the part of the Marquise 
de Clairville. Our Genevese relations, who never 
liked the marriage, even now seemed to consider 
these theatricals as the trap which caught my father's 
heart ; and my uncle Mallet in a late letter, giving me 
some account of the early occurrences of my father's 
life, dwells on this circumstance, as if a young man of 
twenty-five, falling in love with a young girl of eighteen 
was quite a novelty in the world. Such things did 
happen, however, even in the good old times. It was 
natural that my father's family should wish him to 
marry at Geneva, where his talents and connections 
might have procured him an advantageous match, but 
their interference was too pertinacious. My father 
was not only gifted with great independence of char- 
acter, no great help towards making a provision for his 
family, but with a just confidence in his powers of 
useful exertion ; so that when his mother and uncles 
found him deaf to their collected wisdom, they had the 
good sense to make the best of a bad case. My 
mother was of a respectable family : her manners were 
extremely pleasing ; and having been brought up with 
great simplicity of tastes and habits, she became a 
great favourite with my father's family and friends : still 
it was necessary to live, and my father, when married, 
looked about him for some literary employment." l 

Meanwhile he settled in Geneva, and devoted him- 
self to his favourite studies, particularly to historical 
reading the fruits of which had a lasting effect on his 

1 Reminiscences. 



opinions and showed itself in all his subsequent writings. 
For the moment indeed it led him into an exaggerated 
distrust of systems. "We must return," he exclaimed, 
"to experimentalism in politics, the task of which 
should be to remove the unequal burden cast upon 
the people by the existence of privileged classes, and 
to establish civil if not social equality." In this atti- 
tude of generous revolt the young writer fell under 
the attraction of the too famous Linguet, who in his 
Thtorie des Lois Civiles, an eloquent and original satire 
upon the civil organisation of France under the para- 
doxical form of a panegyric of despotism as the only 
hope for the people, had attacked the economists and 
the encyclopaedists, rehabilitated slavery, and exalted 
the East at the expense of the West. 

It was to champion thisfrondeur and controvert the 
reasonings of his assailants drawn from Montesquieu's 
Esprit des Lois, which he then styled a " plaidoyer pour 
F aristocratic " but which experience and observation of 
republican governments very soon caused him to regard 
as a mine of political wisdom, x that Mallet du Pan 
published in 1775, at the age of twenty-five, a curious 
essay called Doutes sur r Eloquence. The only interest 
of the book, which was an attack on the political and 
economic regimes of Northern Europe as a usurpation 
maintained against the interests of the majority, is auto- 
biographical. Crude and doctrinaire as it is, it shows 
how near to his heart were the principles of humanity and 
justice, his attachment to which survived the excesses of 
the Revolution. If Mallet du Pan was to prove the 
strongest adherent of the Monarchy against its ene- 
mies, it was not because, as has been said, he was 

bayous, i., 114. 


4 sans entrailles pour les peuples '. The essay had one 
important result for the author, it brought him into 
personal relations with Linguet and thus initiated him 
into the career of journalism. 

Linguet, now completely forgotten, but in his day 
one of the most prominent figures in France, was a man 
born to be his own worst enemy. He was a person of 
brilliant and versatile ability, but of vanity, jealousy and 
self-confidence even more remarkable than his ability. 
' Opinidtre, inflammable, inflexible ,' as he described 
himself, he was the Ishmael of letters, and his career 
which all France followed with interest for twenty years 
led him, after interminable persecution at the hands 
of the agents and ministers of absolute monarchy, to 
death on the guillotine for his flattery of despots. Liter- 
ature had been his earliest pursuit, but as money was 
a necessity and " it was better to be a wealthy cook 
than an unknown savant " he went to the bar where 
two causes cdlebres, his successful defence of the Due 
d'Aiguillon and the Comte de Merangids, immediately 
gave him a great reputation. He then proceeded to 
make his position impossible by insolent attacks on his 
colleagues and the magistrates for which he was dis- 
barred, and turning again to literature he accepted from 
the publisher Pancoucke the editorship of one of his new 
enterprises, the Journal de Bruxelles, and so became 
the founder of modern journalism. But he did not long 
maintain the decent level of literary and political criticism 
he had proposed for himself. Giving full rein to the 
caustic bitterness of his disposition he tilted against all 
the powers, ministerial and philosophic, in France, and in 
1776 crowned his offences by an article on the reception 
of La Harpe at the Academy, in which he inveighed 


against the new member as a 'petit homme, orgueilleux, 
insolent et has,' and against the august body which had 
previously repulsed his own attempt to enter it. The 
outraged academicians appealed successfully to the 
Government, and the Garde des Sceaux Miromesnil 
ordered Pancoucke to expel him from the editorship, 
which he did, adding insult to injury by giving the post 
to La Harpe. The "modern Aretino," the panegyrist 
of Asiatic despotism, then retired, not, as Grimm 
satirically observed, to Ispahan, but to London, and 
there founded his famous Annales, ' melange de raison^ 
de dtlire, de grossierete 1 et de talent 1 which with many 
interruptions he carried on till the Revolution. But he 
did not long remain in London, where he gave offence 
by his attacks on British institutions and British 
morals, and retired to Brussels. In France he was 
again denounced before the Parlement and in spite of 
powerful protectors, for the king and queen seemed 
to have thoroughly enjoyed his audacious sallies against 
the literary and philosophic coteries of Paris, he was at 
last attracted or enticed to the capital, where in 1 780 
he was clapped into the Bastille. Emerging two years 
later he continued his stormy journalistic career, varied 
by an excursion to Vienna, where Joseph II. whom he 
had flattered at first ennobled and pensioned him, and 
then dismissed him for a defence of the insurgents of 

It was during his wanderings abroad after his ad- 
venture with La Harpe that this political swashbuckler 
made his appearance at Ferney, where Voltaire, who in 
spite of his differences with the encyclopaedist philoso- 
phers was always careful to remain on good terms with 
them, positively shuddered under the infliction of his 


presence, and oddly and savagely described him as ' le 
premier dcrivain des charniers (charnel-house writer) 
sans contestation '. But Mallet du Pan, whose admira- 
tion for his independence and originality appears not 
to have been dispelled by closer acquaintance, decided 
to collaborate with him in the new journalistic ven- 
ture which Linguet intended to establish in England. 
In 1777 accordingly Mallet journeyed to London, and 
thence to Brussels, where Linguet finally arranged for 
the publication of his Annales politiques, civiles et 
litte'raires du XVIII e siecle, 

Of this journey to England which procured him 
acquaintances and confirmed his English prepossessions 
no record remains. But the Annales was founded, and 
Mallet conducted the Swiss edition and contributed 
much valuable matter, especially on economic subjects 
which he treated with refreshing solidity and common 
sense * and in a spirit severely critical towards the sect 
of the economists, with their logogriphes, their impSt 
unique and their leanings to legal despotism. It is 
curious in this connection to notice with how little 
enthusiasm he writes of Turgot, who had been called 
upon to reform the financial administration of France 
in their sense, compared with his eulogies of Necker's 
economic work. It is difficult to imagine that two men 
of such fundamentally different dispositions as Linguet 
and Mallet could long have co-operated. Linguet's 
incarceration in the Bastille at all events brought the 
partnership to an end, and Mallet du Pan decided to 

1 His comments on the studied mystery with which its votaries 
had surrounded financial questions, his doubts as to the necessity of 
any such obscurity and his own lucid expositions of principles are 
characteristic of this spirit. 



continue the publication on his own account till Linguet 
should reappear. This he did at Lausanne for over 
two years from the close of the year 1780, continuing of 
course to live in Geneva until his migration to Paris in 
the autumn of 1783. 

It was no low ideal which the young editor, who 
had now at thirty attained an independent position, set 
before himself in his self-chosen career of journalism, 
a career which was to cover twenty of the most event- 
ful years of modern European history. He set out 
with a large dose of contempt for the " bastard species 
of literary men called journalists and critics who swarmed 
in the great capitals," a contempt which grew with his 
later experience in Paris, until writing and authorship 
themselves became distasteful to him. He wrote from 
the beginning with a sense of responsibility * which is 
the characteristic of men of action rather than of men 
of letters. Impartiality, frankness, love of liberty were 
inborn in him, but first among the requisites for com- 
menting on ideas and events he always placed assured 
and scrupulously verified information and disinterested 
search for truth. If it was beyond his power always 
to circumstantiate recent facts, he waged ceaseless war 
against the printed lies and puerile inventions which 
formed the staple of the public news of that day, and 
were accepted, as he said, with incorrigible ineptitude 
and credulity by the public. But he was far from 
confining himself to the chronicler's task, the triste 
mttier, as he somewhere calls it, of an annalist. Writ- 
ing at a time when " readers were so sated with tedious 
political intrigue and still more tedious warfare that 
they had lost the power of following great events, and 

1 Cf. Note on p. 105. 


took as much interest in a duel between ships of war 
as they had formerly shown in the ruin of a kingdom ; 
when curiosity fed on scandalous anecdote and the mira- 
cles of a Mesmer or a Cagliostro," he prided himself 
on investigating and bringing to notice every important 
European event and endeavouring to give a faithful 
picture of its causes. Contemporary historian was the 
designation he chose for himself, he often deplored the 
necessity which compelled him to be an observer of his 
times rather than the historian, and he constantly strove 
to combine the functions of both in his journalistic work. 1 
The impression conveyed by the tone of his com- 
ments is curiously modern. There are observations 
on the tremendous rivalry in armaments and on the 
universal militarism of the time, on the growth of 
plutocracy, on the character and true use of naval 
power, which might have been written to-day. Mallet 
du Pan was perhaps at his best in his rapid but 
masterly sketches of the career of a Pombal or a 

1 The following note from the Reminiscences shows how early 
he began the practice of carefully organising his sources of informa- 
tion which gave such value to his work in the Revolutionary epoch. 

"On the death of Sir Samuel Romilly, his executor (my friend 
Mr. Wishaw) gave me a letter from his sister, Mme Roget, who 
married a Genevese, dated Geneva the 3151 May 1781, proposing 
to her brother to supply my father once a week with such public 
intelligence and observations as might be useful to him in the publi- 
cation of his work. 'Mr. Mallet,' she says, 'is a Republican; he 
is partial to our country, he loves the truth, and is a determined 
assertor of it.' Romilly probably declined the proposal; but he 
and my father were afterwards brought together at Paris, and renewed 
their acquaintance at a later period in London, where he experienced 
many attentions from Sir Samuel. He was extremely kind to me to 
the last, and asked me occasionally to his house, where I have met 
some of the most distinguished persons of our time." 


Rodney, or in historical summaries such as those in 
which he recounted the hypocritical treatment of the 
Jewish race by Europe ; when he described the prin- 
ciples which had prevailed in the matter of religious 
toleration, and when he distinguished between the 
impolicy of the Edict of Nantes which marked the 
final estrangement of the two religions and the ruin 
of the weaker, and the statesmanship of the Edict of 
Joseph II., which recognised and safeguarded liberty 
of conscience while preserving the necessary pre- 
eminence of the national religion. 

In the course of some critical remarks on Voltaire's 
historical writings l he has given his idea of the qualifica- 
tions which distinguish the historian from the chronicler 
and romance writer : " Among his indispensable re- 
quirements is the power of criticising his authorities 
and weighing the character, views, position and trust- 
worthiness of previous writers, of labouring to reconcile 
them and to verify conjectures, dates and documents, 
of distinguishing between truth and probability, of 
confronting imposture with reason and fact ". 

Voltaire as an historian hardly came up to such a 
standard as this. His critic does full justice to his 
brilliant clearness of style, to the art with which he 
compared or contrasted facts, to his penetrating coup 
d'ceil, to his unapproached faculty for marshalling events 
in an orderly and interesting manner ; qualities which 
led Lord Chesterfield to say of the Siecle de Louis 
XIV that while Bolingbroke had taught him how to 
read history, Voltaire had taught him how to write it. 

1 In an article entitled De la Manure d"ecrire Vhistoire, in which 
he discusses some ancient and modern historical works including 
those of Hume, Robertson, Gibbon and Voltaire. 


But Mallet signalised as a dangerous example to his- 
torians Voltaire's contempt for accurate knowledge, his 
method of substituting for it philosophic opinions, and 
his sceptical reasoning which dispensed with learning 
and refuted research by epigram. He had, wrote 
Mallet du Pan, confined his criticisms to the discussion 
of superstitious fables, and his doubts and researches 
to the region of religious credulity. He had given but 
little study to laws, morality and public right, or to the 
political causes of the development, the fall, or the 
preservation of empires. He was dazzled and sub- 
jugated by love of the arts and of magnificence in 
sovereigns or princely protectors of painters and poets. 
Finally for the solution of historical problems he too 
often fell back on the dogma of fatality, ' Dogme cruel 
fait pour encourager le crime, pour oter a la vertu toute 
son dnergie, et dont un historien sage devrait cacher 
les preuves '. 

It was not as historian only that Mallet du Pan had 
occasion at this time and in later years to criticise Vol- 
taire's ideas and defend his memory. He did both in 
language which shows how little permanent influence 
his intercourse with Voltaire had on his own modes of 
thought. 1 He must have felt towards him the loyal 
attachment so easily inspired in his juniors by an old 
man of great distinction who honours them by his at- 
tention : he admired him as a man of letters, the greatest 
the modern world has yet seen, he could sympathise 
with the genuine hatred of intolerance and oppression 
which was the only definitely liberal sentiment in Vol- 
taire's political creed ; and there can be no doubt that 

1 " Jamais," remarks the historian Muller, " on n'est parvenu a 
faire changer a un genevois sa maniere de voir." 


association with the literary dictator of Europe and his 
friends gave him the confidence and the assurance which 
enabled him so early to hold his own in the literary 
world. From being provincial he became cosmopolitan. 
But of conformity with Voltaire's opinions in philosophy 
or politics it would be difficult to find a trace. There 
is far more protest than agreement even in an article 
in which he warmly defends his dead patron against 
the denunciations of an anonymous correspondent. 
The indignant writer had attacked Voltaire's works as 
a ' collection d' infamies et d' ordures J and in particular 
accused him of having severed all the ties which bind 
mankind to a Divinity. No one man more sincerely 
deplored the unworthy productions of his decrepitude 
or the monotonously indecent pleasantry with which he 
treated the most serious subjects ; his outrages on reve- 
lation and the manner in which he invariably confused 
the absurdities of theology with the truths of Chris- 
tianity ; and the terrible influence of his diatribes on 
public opinion. 1 All the more notable therefore was 
Mallet's declaration that during the eight consecutive 
years of his acquaintance with Voltaire, at a time when 

1 Sainte-Beuve speaking of Mallet du Pan's religious opinions de- 
scribes him as " un protestant, je dirais meme un de"iste ". I may 
therefore quote a confession of faith, sufficiently remarkable in a 
man of letters of the eighteenth century, which he printed in reply 
to a correspondent who professed ignorance of his "principles" and 
more than hinted that he sympathised with those of Voltaire : " Mes 
principes sont ceux d'un citoyen de Geneve e"leve dans la religion 
Calviniste, celle de ses peres et de son souverain, ayant appris par 
1'excellente Education qu'on regoit dans sa patrie, et par 1'exemple du 
clerge* le plus vertueux et le plus e'claire, a adorer la main Divine dans 
ses ouvrages et dans le bienfait de la Revelation, a etre religieux sans 
superstition, et tolerant sans impidte " (Annales, ii., 444). 


he was flooding Europe with his ' inddcentes goguenar- 
deries' he had never surprised him in a single doubt as 
to the existence of God or in a jest on this subject. 
The author of the line, ' Si Dieu riexistait pas, ilfau- 
drait rinventer' never, he asserted, abnegated in private 
this doctrine of his works. In health or sickness, gay 
or serious, with Christians, atheists, theists, he always 
professed his respect for "natural religion". 

"I saw him," writes Mallet, "one evening at supper 
give a tremendous lesson to d'Alembert and Condorcet 
by sending his servants out of the room in the middle of 
the meal, and saying to the two academicians, ' Now, 
gentlemen, you are at liberty to pursue your discussion. 
As I do not wish to be robbed and murdered to-night 
by my servants I am anxious that all notions of God 
and of a future state should not be eradicated from 
their minds.' " 1 

1 J. L. Mallet's Reminiscences, or as Mallet du Pan repeats it : 
" Maintenant, Messieurs, continuez vos propos centre Dieu. Mais 
comme je ne veux pas etre egorge et vole cette nuit par mes domes- 
tiques il est bon qu'ils ne vous ecoutent pas " (Merc. Brit., ii., 349). 
In his account of Voltaire (Mercure Britannique, 1798), he brings out 
even more clearly Voltaire's attitude towards religion and the funda- 
mental difference between it and that of the other anti-religious 
schools of Paris. " De la terre etrangere ou il s'etait refugie* le Poete 
declara la guerre a la religion. Cette entreprise devient pour lui un 
amusement, une vengeance, bientot un besoin et une passion. Tous 
les six mois il enfantait une diatribe. Lorsqu'il cut epuise" ses 
apostrophes a 1'Eglise Romaine et ses reproches au sacerdoce, il 
attaqua le Christianisme : toutes les communions essuyerent ses ou- 
trages, et il se prodama le chef (Tun Thiisme dans les bases duquel il a 
souvent vacill'e. Son scepticisme neanmoins conserva quelque mesure : 
il jugeait impolitique et dangereux de precher publiquement 1'atheisme, 
la materialite de 1'ame, et le neant apres la mort. ' Je veux,' ecrivait-il 
a un athee de Paris, ' que les Princes et les Ministres reconnaissent 
un Dieu, et meme un Dieu qui punisse et qui pardonne. Sans ce 
frein je les regarderais comme des animaux fe*roces,' " etc. 


"Three months," he wrote, 1 "after the publication 
of D'Holbach's Systeme de la Nature, Voltaire received 
an enthusiastic letter, which I saw, from the heir pre- 
sumptive to a German State. This prince made no 
secret of the disastrous impression the work had made 
on his mind, and appeared an ardent proselyte of its 
doctrines. Voltaire in his reply confuted his doubts, 
concluding, ' In a word, Prince, this book appears to me 
pernicious both to peoples and to kings. II n'y a qu'une 
fureur detestable qui puisse attaquer cette religion 
sainte : adorez Dieu et soyez juste.'" 2 

If Mallet du Pan's principles kept him from becom- 
ing a convert to the ideas of the encyclopaedist sect 
to which Voltaire may have hoped to attach him, his 
political ideas were no less at variance with the pre- 
judices which did duty for statesmanship in Voltaire. 
He gave a striking account, in an article on the in- 
fluence of the philosophers on the French Revolution 
published in the Mercure Britannique many years 
later, of Voltaire's belief in monarchy, his indifference 
to the rights of the people, his aversion to political 
speculation and republican forms of government. His 

l Annales, i., 303. 

2 Here is another anecdote from the Reminiscences : " My father 
having gone one morning to Ferney to breakfast, and being in 
Voltaire's bedroom, M. Fabri du Gex came in with an artist of his 
acquaintance, whom he wished to introduce to Voltaire. The artist 
was attended by a dog that followed him into the room ; and who, 
brushing by the chimney, knocked down the tongs and shovel, to 
the great annoyance of Voltaire, who, violently pulling the bell, said 
to the footman who came in, ' Lavigne, send up one of my carriage 
horses to keep company with this gentleman's dog '. Voltaire used 
to say that it was a very agreeable circumstance to live under a 
government of which the sovereigns requested you to send your 
carriage for them when you asked them to dinner." 


knowledge of political subjects was slight, and he had 
given but little thought to them, as his criticism of 
Montesquieu showed. He lived, observes Mallet du 
Pan, for fifteen consecutive years at the gates of a city 
in which questions of republican government were the 
constant subject of debate, without ever understanding 
the elements of them. He loved neither republican 
nor despotic states, but he detested the common people 
and dreaded their influence, though he would not syste- 
matically have oppressed them. How little he thought 
the French fit for political liberty may be judged from 
his remark : ' Nous sommes une nation d'enfants mutins 
a qui il faut donner des fouets et des sucreries" All his 
inclinations and prejudices were monarchical, his sincere 
enthusiasm for Louis XIV. proved it ; and his aim was 
always to conciliate authority and enlist the ruling classes 
on his side in his attacks on Christianity. "In politics 
he was but a flatterer." With such opinions it would 
have been absurd to attribute to Voltaire any design 
to subvert by violent means the political institutions and 
the form of society in France, and Mallet du Pan acquits 
him of such an intention. " Persons like myself," he 
wrote, " who frequented his house, can bear witness 
that no word ever escaped him which revealed the 
faintest desire to see the form of government in his 
own country changed." Voltaire indeed never dreamt 
of such an event as the Revolution ; and his disregard 
of civil freedom, his love of authority, privilege and 
rank, his timidity of character and fastidiousness, 
were all aristocratic. As Mallet observed : 

" The first chateau in flames and Voltaire would 
have abandoned his own and taken refuge abroad ; the 


first head on a pike, and he would have thought himself 
in the days of the League and died of fright. The 
destruction of the Church and of religion itself would 
not have mitigated his terror, for much as he hated 
priests and the mass, he hated even more assassins, 
plunderers and incendiaries." 

The personal connection between the two men has 
made it necessary to dwell at some length on the attitude 
of Mallet du Pan towards Voltaire. His opinion of 
the latter's nominal followers, of the encyclopaedists, of 
Diderot and d'Alembert, as well as of Condorcet and 
all the Illumines fanatiques whose works became the 
manual of Jacobinism, belongs to the revolutionary 
period, when he expressed it with biting directness on 
many occasions. As he wrote later : 

" Du Clerge, de la Cour, de la Noblesse, de la 
Finance, du Barreau, des Regiments, des Lycees, on 
vit eclore un essaim de Platons populaciers et blasph^- 
mateurs, dont la sottise et 1'insolence eussent fait rougir 
de honte leurs premiers instituteurs, dont les exces eussent 
fait regretter la vie a Rousseau et a Voltaire ". 

We know that in his earlier years in Paris he 
held very much aloof from them. Philosophers with 
so slight a hold on the realities of life and govern- 
ment had no attraction for one, the practical and 
historical bent of whose genius was leading him 
more and more to distrust abstractions and to follow 
experience in his political and constitutional specula- 
tions. He ranged himself definitely in these years 
of preparation under the banner of Montesquieu the 
founder of the new science of history, and in this 
fact we have the sufficient explanation of his attitude 
towards the Revolution. For Montesquieu is the anti- 


thesis of Rousseau, and Rousseau was the prophet of the 
new era. The reign of Rousseau over public opinion 
only began when Voltaire's ended, after the death of 
the two rivals in 1778. His famous theory of politics, 
drawn from the anarchical hypotheses of long-forgotten 
authors and clothed with his peculiar sentiment and 
incomparable eloquence, dominated from first to last 
the leaders of the Revolution and furnished the catch- 
words of the people. ' Sans Jean Jacques Rousseau 
il iHy aurait pas eu de Re"volutionl said Napoleon, 
and he added, according to Mme de Stae'l, 'Je ne 
le regrette pas, car fy ai rattrape" le trone ! ' Mallet 
du Pan, who saw so much of " M. de Voltaire," never 
personally knew " Jean Jacques," but he divined from 
the first the ascendency of his teachings and was to 
learn by bitter experience the hopelessness of combating 
them. 1 

1 1 have printed as an appendix a portion of a remarkable article 
written by Mallet du Pan at the end of his life (Mercure Britannique 
loth March 1799), on the influence exercised by French philosophers 
on the Revolution. It deals specially with the position of Voltaire 
and Rousseau. 





MALLET'S comments in the Annales on the War of 
Independence and on party government in England 
will serve to show that he brought to the consideration 
of great political affairs principles imbibed in a very 
different atmosphere from that of Paris, and the qualities 
not too commonly combined of sound judgment and 
moral enthusiasm. In all he wrote for the information 
of his contemporaries Mallet du Pan endeavoured to 
record materials for history. Fact and comment alike 
are now as hopelessly buried in the original newspaper 
sheets as if they had been recorded in Chinese ; but a 
biographer can hardly pass over in silence judgments 
on passing events which reveal already in the writer 
the prescience and clear-sightedness extolled by Sainte- 
Beuve, the political capacity signalised by Taine. They 
reached a level of thought and expression which it 
would be hard to parallel in the periodical literature 
of the succeeding century, and which entitles him to 
the position accorded to him by the learned historian * 
of the French press as the first of the race of true 

1 Eugene Hatin, Histoire de la Presse en France, vol. Hi., p. 377, 
"Mallet s'y revele comme un publiciste distingue : nous pourrions dire 
que c'est le premier journaliste que nous ayons encore rencontre* ". 


journalists, a position which he was soon to maintain 
in the capital of France. 

The time at which Mallet du Pan succeeded to 
the sole direction of Linguet's Annales Politiques, the 
beginning of the year 1781, marked the lowest point 
of disaster and danger to which England had fallen 
since the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 had first given 
her a position of supremacy in Europe. Without an 
ally in the world, she was in arms against France, 
Spain and the American Colonies, she had just added 
Holland to the list of her enemies, and the armed 
neutrality of the North had been formed to assert the 
rights of neutrals against British sea power. In India 
Hyder AH had descended on the Carnatic and was 
threatening Madras ; Ireland was on the very verge 
of practical independence, and the Gordon riots had 
for some days placed London at the mercy of the 
mob. Worse than all, the Government was in the 
hands of men discredited by failures and distrusted in 
the country, and the spirit of faction was carried to 
a point which alarmed and disgusted the friends of 
England. 1 The coming months were to witness the 
second surrender (October 1781) of a British army 
in America, that of Cornwallis with 6,000 men at 
Yorktown, an event which brought the war in that 
continent to a standstill, and by sealing the fate of 
Lord North's Ministry produced the kaleidoscopic 
changes of the Rockingham, Shelburne and Coalition 
Ministries, ending in the succession to power in 1783 
of the younger Pitt. Early in 1782 followed the 

1 " Vous allez," wrote Voltaire to Mallet in his journey to England 
in 1777, "dans un pays devenu presque barbare par la violence des 


capture by the French fleet of all the rich English 
islands in the West Indies except Jamaica, Barbados 
and Antigua, and the recapture by Spain of Minorca, 
disasters which Rodney's great victory over De Grasse 
in April, and the final repulse of the attack on Gibraltar 
in September, did much to retrieve without affecting 
the inevitable result of the war ; and the negotiation 
of the treaties of peace left England in 1783 shorn 
of the fairest portion of her Colonial Empire, and 
burdened by a huge increase of national indebtedness. 
The independence of America thus accomplished 
which seemed to imply the fall of Greater Britain, 
and which Seeley describes as a " stupendous event 
perhaps greater in itself than the French Revolution " 
so soon to follow, certainly forms a theme worthy of the 
ablest and best equipped of contemporary chroniclers. 
Before following him in some comments and specu- 
lations on this event, a word may be said on the 
general attitude of the writer in relation to the play 
of international forces and rivalries. The late Professor 
Seeley made perhaps rather too much of his supposed 
discovery that the history of England in the eighteenth 
century lay not in Europe, but in Asia and America. 
The author of the Annales was a citizen of a small 
neutral State, his intellect was of the practical lucid 
order characteristic of the best eighteenth century 
thought, and his natural sympathies and tastes turned 
rather in the direction of efforts after freedom of 
thought, good government and sensible public economy, 
than in that of the internecine struggles for Colonial 
Empire and commercial monopolies which riveted the 
attention of the more sentimental Cambridge historian. 
But even to him these struggles were full of significance, 


and if we may judge from the tone of the Annales, and 
even from the relative space given in its pages to the 
discussion of the war in America and to naval and 
colonial topics, contemporary writers were under no 
such illusion as that which Seeley made it his mission 
to combat in his interesting little volume on the Ex- 
pansion of England. 

The first number edited by Mallet du Pan contains 
a study on war in general, and on the condition of 
Europe as the result of the particular war in which 
the world was at that moment plunged, which would 
have delighted the heart of Cobden, but which, though 
perhaps somewhat academic in tone, displays an elo- 
quence, a philosophic insight, and a knowledge of 
foreign history and politics quite beyond the reach of 
the great free-trade statesman. After showing that 
war was waged among modern States no longer with 
the simply avowed objects of conquering, pillaging 
and enslaving one another, but in order to preserve 
a supposed equilibrium or balance of power, he re- 
marks how futile these attempts necessarily were, and 
how they always ended in the transfer of prepon- 
derance, never in its destruction. Richelieu's policy, 
for instance, had resulted in the ruin of Austria to the 
gain of France ; and while Europe remained under 
arms until the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle in pur- 
suit of this chimera, Great Britain, ' hydre ampkibie* 
destined " to devour the frogs who implored her 
assistance," had appeared on the scene to which the 
"equilibrists" had summoned her. Mallet traces in a 
careful summary the growth of her maritime power, 
from its rise under Cromwell to its overwhelming 
ascendency under Chatham. ' Voila F Edifice ? he 


exclaimed, ' e"lev par les criailleries, le sang et les 
dfyenses de la Hollande et de rAutriche, voila I'espece 
d'e'quilibre auquel leurs tours deforce ^taient parvenus ' ' 
Very striking is the denunciation which follows of 
the two-headed monster produced by the unnatural 
union of war and commerce, which owed its origin to 
the ocean power of England and Holland, and to the 
establishment of their colonies. Holland had tyran- 
nised over the sea in order to become the entrepot 
for every sort of merchandise ; England, the first to 
escape from this tyranny by the help of Cromwell's 
Navigation Act, substituted for it another, with the 
object of forcing upon the two worlds her manu- 
factures and the produce of her colonies. 1 

" The monopoly," wrote Mallet, " with which 
Europe oppressed her colonies is a despotism of shop- 
keepers of which every enlightened nation ought to be 
ashamed. To found an Empire and to base the pros- 
perity of a country and its commerce upon the success 
of such a despotism, maintained by armaments, fleets 
and codes, is the most inconceivable project which 
avarice has ever suggested to ambition. " : 

But true as it was that commerce had become a 
primary cause of strife among nations, a phenomenon 
which seems likely to recur in the twentieth century, it 
was equally true that force was in the long run power- 
less to counteract the permanent influence of national 
advantages, geographical situation and industrial activ- 
ity. The general indignation against the " vampire " 
powers of England and Holland, ' ces dispensateurs 
ambulants du commerce, approvisionneurs altiers de 

l Annates, iii., 486. 2 Ibid., i., 107. 


I' Univers, had already without wars or diplomatic 
intrigue begun to work a cure, and the irresistible 
processes of competition were reducing the masters 
of commerce to the position of simple rivals in the 
Baltic and the Mediterranean. Mallet du Pan was in 
fact an economist, not indeed of the fashionable school 
which monopolised that designation and which he de- 
molished in more than one of his articles, but of the 
school of Adam Smith, just about to make its first great 
proselyte among statesmen in the younger Pitt. Neces- 
sarily therefore he realised the essential want of reason 
in the existing colonial and commercial systems and 
reprobated the ruinous struggles which for sixty years 
had held Europe embroiled ; and his remarks help us 
to realise how largely jealousy of England's success in 
the attempt to monopolise trade, the idea that she 
was a "leech gorging herself with their life blood," 
animated the coalition which was on the point of gain- 
ing a victory more nominal than real over their proud 

But Mallet du Pan did not allow himself to be 
engrossed by academic speculation, and we may now 
follow his description of the actual situation of the 
various combatants. Of Holland, ' morceau de boue 
enlevt a PEspagne et a fOc^an,' we need in this place 
only quote his remark that, having for eighty years 
limited her ambition to becoming the first purveyor of 
groceries in the universe and to amassing gold, the 
Republic with all her wealth was now nothing but a 
political skeleton. Spain, ' ombre illustre qui se promene 
sur ses vastes domaines sans que les mouvements de ce 
spectre aient pu masquer son inanite"! was content to 
build fleets but afraid to use them except in sumptuous 



promenades, and had wasted sums which might have 
materially assisted the American insurgents in a futile 
cannonade against Gibraltar. The future of the 
American Colonies is thus (before the surrender of 
Yorktown) summed up by our writer : 

"Independent or not the United States will emerge 
from this disastrous war with the hope of profit from 
it. Their commerce will be free, sooner or later it 
will embrace the fisheries of all their shores and of 
the new world and the trade in furs, it will reach to 
the Antilles, to the Spanish possessions, and even to 
the East Indies ; a line of communication will be 
theirs which no European fleet will be able to cut. 
Nature which has placed the insurgent States in the 
midst of the Atlantic has so ordered it ; and the 
moment has arrived when our continent will be forced 
to admit it." 

The moment when America was to come into full 
enjoyment of her natural advantages has been delayed 
to our own day, but the passage is none the less 
remarkable as a forecast written at a time when 
Europe still believed in the efficacy of force, of tariffs 
and of restriction to control the course of economic 

Of equal interest is the analysis of the situation of 
the two great protagonists, France and England ; of the 
sources of their power, and of the destinies which their 
history and their circumstances seemed to impose upon 
them. France had experienced something like a re- 
surrection during the last six years. Under a king, 
for so he described Louis XVI., who had shown no- 
thing but virtuous and benevolent intentions, and who 
in the course of seven years had chosen more upright 
ministers than a whole reign often supplies, she had 


recreated a navy 1 and her policy, ably directed, had 
decided the success of the insurgent colonies and had 
seemingly dealt a fatal blow at the commercial monopoly 
of her rival. The resources of the country were im- 
mense, her natural wealth, the industry of her inhabi- 
tants, and the taste displayed in her varied manufactures, 
gave her a natural monopoly which made it unneces- 
sary to seek external commerce by arms and maritime 
conquests. The power of her administration and her 
naval force would find sufficient employment in main- 
taining the water ways and safeguarding the ports, and 
in creating a wise proportion between the arts and 

In many noble passages Mallet du Pan extols the 
courage, energy and strength of her great rival : 

" History affords no previous example of a nation 
of ten million souls, attacked in the four quarters of the 
world by a formidable league, resolute to withstand the 
attack, and allowing neither defeat nor waste, neither 
the want of men nor the burden of subsidies and 
loans, to shake her constancy. . . . The inexhaustible 
resources of her navy and her discipline, the activity 
of her dockyards, the energy of her traders, the cool 
intrepidity which grew with danger, and her command 
of funds, might be enfeebled but could not be de- 

The effort, indeed, to maintain her dangerous pro- 
sperity had proved too great, and the pyramid balanced 
on its apex had crumbled beneath the weight. But 
writing after the final success of the magnificent de- 
fence of Gibraltar he says : 

1 He remarks, however, on the insubordination which char- 
acterised the French navy, under De Grasse for instance, as con- 
trasted with the discipline of an English fleet (Annales, v., p. 438). 


" England by the energy of her resistance in the 
midst of her foes has gained a greatness and a renown 
more admirable than any she possessed at the height 
of her fortunes in 1763. . . . After having seen her 
arms tarnished, her fleets everywhere outnumbered, 
her territory threatened on all sides and her exertions 
counteracted by intestine strife, Great Britain now 
finds herself mistress of the sea in the West Indies, 
in America, and in the Channel ; so far from having 
lost her Indian conquests she has added to them ; 
her flag protects a commerce extending from pole to 
pole, and floats without a stain in spite of the efforts 
of three combined Powers to lower its glory." 

But all this time Mallet du Pan distrusted the 
power of the country to escape the consequences of 
the policy of expansion which her position forced upon 
her. Without the " possession of Neptune's trident to 
enable her to summon fleets from the ocean at her 
will," how could she protect with the wings of her 
400 vessels the immense extent of her dominions ? l 
The war itself had shown the " vice of this universal 
empire, and will impugn to the remotest posterity the 
wisdom of Lord Chatham's policy ". After conquests 
comes the necessity of defending them, and that " ne- 
cessity and these conquests are at this moment the 
greatest enemies of England; son premier malkeur est 
sa puissance ". 

The pose of a prophet is the last which Mallet du 
Pan's modesty and vigorous common sense would have 
allowed him to adopt, and on so large a subject as the 
possible future of two great nations he could do no 
more than point out the tendencies which were likely 

1 Annales, iii., 80. 


to mould their course. But if the above extracts give 
at all a fair idea of his speculations, he seems to have 
taken a more favourable view of the immediate prospects 
of France as compared with England than circumstances 
were to justify. He seems to have thought that France, 
self-contained, industrious, and with all the potentiality 
of great natural wealth, was at least as likely as Eng- 
land, depending rather on the adventurous disposition 
of her inhabitants, and bound to pursue the perilous 
paths of colonial and commercial extension and naval 
supremacy, to hold the leading place in the coming 
years. Few could have foretold, and Mallet du Pan 
certainly did not, the immense industrial develop- 
ment of Great Britain which inventive genius was to 
awaken, and a wise commercial policy to foster, in 
the coming century. Nor could the success of the 
great Indian experiment have been anticipated with 
any certainty. Mallet du Pan had written indeed (in 
April 1782) as follows: 

" The foot with which England trod the Atlantic 
she will now plant upon India. She will look for re- 
sources, for victories, and for consolations, to that im- 
mense domain which has been purchased with blood 
and treachery and despoiled by the ravages of un- 
bridled human nature, and Holland may well groan 
under the ambition which the loss of her colonies will 
impel England to satisfy elsewhere." 

A little later (Dec. 1782) we find him asking what 
will become of England in the East Indies, and return- 
ing a more doubtful answer after a rapid sketch of the 
achievements and the dangers of the handful of British 
merchant conquerors. But it is interesting to note that 
at least he anticipates from the efforts of Parliament the 


extirpation of the worst abuses of Indian administration, 
and pronounces that if the future can ameliorate the lot 
of the natives " so long oppressed by our avarice and 
our disputes, we shall bless the English as liberators ". 

But whether or no he fully realised the part which 
such factors as these were to play in the growth of 
England, and whether, horrified by the apparent de- 
moralisation of her parliamentary system, he did not 
underrate the strength of the political constitution of the 
country, are questions of comparatively little moment. 
The event which was really to determine for a 
century to come the relative positions of the two 
countries as world powers lay still in the womb of 
the future, undiscernible, at all events in its conse- 
quences on the political system of Europe, to observers 
however keen-sighted. France was even now hasten- 
ing with giant strides to revolution, and if we find no 
distinct premonition in Mallet du Pan's pages at this 
moment of the impending break up of the French 
monarchy, we must remember that he had not yet 
taken up his residence in Paris, and that while fully 
alive to the extravagance and vicious inequality of the 
financial system of the country, he was no doubt tem- 
porarily deceived l by the brilliant revival of vigour and 

lu Qui aurait predit," he wrote in September 1791 (Mercure de 
France), "que la France triomphante, riche, et considered en 1 782 serait 
reMuite en 1791 a subsister de vieux cuivre, de debris de cloches, et de 
papier-monnaie perdant 15 pour cent dans la Capitale meme? Que 
ses changes tomberaient de 25 pour cent . . . que ses fabriques ne 
se soutiendraient plus que par le discredit des valeurs id&iles repre- 
sentatives du numeraire, que sa dette serait accrue de deux milliards 
en deux ans . . . que ses escadres resteraient inactives par la licence 
de ses matelots, que les degouts, la tyrannic, et rimpossibilite de 
servir honorablement l'tat, la priveraient de tout ce qu'elle comptait 


ability which had distinguished the last few years of 
the royal administration. It is indeed difficult to over- 
estimate the importance of the French Revolution in 
its influence on the development of Great Britain. It 
removed from her path at the most critical moment of 
her advance the only power which was in a position to 
dispute her supremacy. It left her without a rival at 
sea, the one factor essential to her success and to the 
consolidation of her conquests in India, and it gave her 
a monopoly, owing not so much to the employment 
of the artificial restrictive measures which Mallet du 
Pan had so vigorously condemned as to the literal 
absence from various causes of effective competition, 
in sea-borne commerce, in the carrying trade and 
in industrial production ; a monopoly which she held 
till within the last twenty years. Truly did Burke say 
of the French, "they have done their business for us as 
rivals in a way which twenty Ramillies or Blenheims 
could never have done ". 

Whether a period in the history of the two nations 
may not now have been reached in which their 
strength is not once again more equally balanced, 
and whether Mallet du Pan's analysis of the respective 
advantages and dangers of France and England does not 
in a certain degree hold good at the present moment, 
is a tempting subject for speculation which can hardly 
be touched upon. On the one hand there is France, 
still, in spite of deep social divisions, one of the leading 
States in the world, with all her old natural superiority 
of territory and climate, with a population unrivalled 

de generaux experimentes, et que ses Ambassadeurs ne seraient plus 
en Europe que les te'moins de la nullite de leur Patrie? Quelle 
Ie9on pour la politique speculative ! O vanite des raisonnements ! " 


for industry, economy and taste, with increasingly 
prosperous industries due to these qualities, with a 
navy second only to our own backed by a formidable 
military organisation, with her most important colonial 
dependencies, those in Northern Africa, placed at her 
very doors, above all with a form of government prob- 
ably well suited to her genius, and to a large extent 
wisely inspired by the spirit which Mallet du Pan desid- 
erated for her. On the other hand there is England, 
her special fields of supremacy in industrial production 
and in the carrying trade invaded by at least two 
great rivals with one of whom all competition is out 
of the question, and steadily impelled along the same 
path of colonial and commercial expansion dependent 
on naval force and ascendency which seemed to have 
brought her to something like ruin at the close of the 
War of Independence. Is there any truth in Mallet's 
paradox that her misfortune lies in the very power and 
preponderance which condemn her " to go everywhere, 
to fight everywhere, to dissipate forces which would 
be invincible if they were concentrated, to depopulate 
her fields, her ports and her factories, and to support 
in the midst of opulence a debt of which no one can 
foresee the limits " ? One thing at least is certain, that 
in any fresh crisis of her fortunes Great Britain is not 
likely to be assisted by any such cataclysmal event 
as the French Revolution, that her path will not be 
smoothed by the weakness of her rivals, and that she 
will be indebted alone for safety to the energy of her 
national character and institutions, to the loyalty of her 
dependencies, and to the wisdom of her statesmanship. 
The question suggested may perhaps be answered by 
another, Is there any real analogy between her present 


situation and that of Holland in the eighteenth century ? 
Mallet du Pan is never tired of contrasting the energy 
and courage of England with the ' affaissement absolu ' 
into which Holland had sunk, and the reasons he gives 
for the "inconceivable pusillanimity" of her conduct are, 
in the first place, that the commercial spirit had proved 
incompatible with patriotism, that the habits and tastes 
of the counting-house had debased national character 
and destroyed public spirit ; and in the second place, 
(and this was the principal cause) that the spirit of faction 
had paralysed her councils. The ancient wisdom of 
the Republic had expired in the attempt to preserve a 
balance between the rival powers of the constitution, 
and foreign policy was perpetually sacrificed to the views 
of the warring cabals of the Stadholderate, the Magis- 
tracy, and the Regencies of Amsterdam and the other 
provinces. Might he not have added another possible 
cause of discouragement in the evident hopelessness 
of striving to preserve a colonial monopoly against 
antagonists so overwhelmingly superior in strength ? 
Whatever sources of weakness may exist in the England 
of to-day, there are at all events two very marked points 
of distinction. British commercial and colonial supre- 
macy has not been a tyranny, but a source of material 
prosperity which she has fully shared with all her com- 
petitors. The fall of the system therefore would inflict as 
great a loss upon them as upon herself, and they have 
the strongest reasons for desiring the maintenance of 
the only great open market in existence. The British 
Empire does not, or rather need not, excite that deadly 
jealousy of the rest of the world which was one of the 
causes of Holland's ruin, and any attempt on the part 
of rival powers to acquire British possessions for their 


own exclusive exploitation must necessarily divide the 
enemies of England instead of uniting them against 
her. And further, the man who leads the country in 
an hour of need will have ready to his hand, instead 
of warring constitutional elements, the most supple and 
powerful instrument of rule which democracy has yet 
evolved. With all qualifications, however, the problem 
confronting Great Britain in the twentieth century is 
perhaps not wholly unlike that which Holland failed to 
solve in the eighteenth, that of combining commercial 
democracy with empire, a problem of which Mallet 
du Pan had in 1780 discerned some of the essential 

We have noticed the admiration extorted from 
Mallet du Pan by the heroic energy and perseverance 
of the King and his ministers, supported year after year 
by Parliament and the country, in a cause with which 
he must have had but little sympathy. He had divined 
the reasons which in spite of defeats and growing finan- 
cial embarrassment made the position of Great Britain 
in reality far less critical than it seemed. He put his 
finger on the essential fact of the situation when he 
pointed out the successful guardianship by the British 
squadrons of the return of the rich cargoes of the Baltic, 
the Hudson, the sugar islands and the East Indies to 
the seaports of the United Kingdom, there to swell 
private fortunes and to pour fresh resources into the 
depleted coffers of the State. As long as this circula- 
tion of wealth lasted he saw that England would main- 
tain her existence and her activity ; and he ridiculed 
accordingly the "innocent babble" of the coffee houses 
which had already annihilated her in anticipation. We 
have now to describe his undisguised concern at the 


collapse of her resistance. Whatever doubt may have 
existed whether she might not, especially after Rodney's 
great victory and the relief of Gibraltar, have brought 
the struggle to a more favourable conclusion and even 
have preserved a nominal connection with her exhausted 
and distracted colonies, was set at rest by the attitude 
of the Opposition just about to be transformed into a 
Government, by the working of the party system and 
the play of faction in Parliament. This aspect of the 
question now fascinated the attention of Mallet du Pan, 
who, during the whole period, followed in detail the 
action and speeches of the party leaders in England 
with the object of setting before his readers a picture 
of the spirit, the eloquence, and the divisions of the 
British Parliament. 1 Liberal and republican as he was, 
it is impossible that a reader of these pages should not 
be struck by the essentially order-loving and conserva- 
tive bent of his mind even at this early period. Long 
before the French Revolution was to make him famous 
as the pitiless analyst and critic of the Jacobin spirit, 
the unwearying opponent of revolutionary methods, he 
had learnt to distrust the incendiary teachings of the 
fashionable phrasiers of the day by watching their 
effect in those homes of ancient freedom, the Genevese 
and Dutch Republics. We have noted his attitude 

1 He commented on the extreme difficulty for a foreigner of fol- 
lowing events in England, on the uncommunicativeness of the English 
and their proud contempt for foreign chroniclers, and on the hap- 
hazard character of their newspapers. Only an Englishman in the 
confidence of ministers and departments, and conversant with English 
commerce, law and finance could properly engage in the task of 
recounting the course of events, and such an Englishman would 
better employ his time. In these circumstances Mallet du Pan's 
penetration and accuracy are the more noteworthy. 


with regard to French political and religious thought, 
and we shall have occasion to refer to his part in the 
revolutions of his native State ; he saw how the cries 
and catchwords of " humanity, liberty, despotism," 
were inflaming the "patriotic" party in Holland, who 
were already burning to immolate on the altar of their 
country "oppressive" institutions and officers of state. 
He had commented on the loquacity which had ac- 
companied the American Revolution, on the habit of 
"perorating and dissertating" which had characterised 
the founders and orators of the new Republic. 

" One might fancy oneself," he said, "listening to 
language natural enough in gangrened Republics like 
Holland and Geneva, ready to crumble into dust, where 
the resource of perversity is to counterfeit virtue : but in 
America at the dawn of a new State, in the first term of 
its existence ! Illustrious eighteenth century, thy motto 
has been traced by Sallust in the portrait of Catiline, 
satis sapienticz parum I " 

Little wonder if, with such sentiments as these, he 
perused the debates preceding and following the fall 
of Lord North with growing horror and disgust at the 
unpatriotic and indecent violence of the Whig factions, 
an attitude which, reproduced in the French revolu- 
tionary war, was to cost them forty years of power ; or 
that, " anti-imperialist " as he was, and opposed as we 
have seen him to be to the commercial and political 
ideas which inspired the war, he writes with far more 
sympathy of the fallen Ministry than of their opponents. 
We may pass over the epitome of the history of Eng- 
lish party government in which Mallet du Pan traces 
the steps by which it had degenerated into a shame- 
lessly corrupt struggle for place and power, for it is a 


commonplace that the latter half of the eighteenth 
century witnessed the lowest point of degradation which 
party politics have touched in England. The successors 
of the old Whigs, " defenders of disputed rights, warding 
off oppression with one hand, with the other building 
up the ramparts of public freedom," had changed their 
character as the constitution had taken shape. Having 
no longer natural rights to assert, they were now, in 
Opposition, a mere hors cFceuvre of the constitution, 
whose occupation it was to harangue against the conduct 
and opinions of ministers in order to advertise them- 
selves, and to oppose them, not because they were wrong, 
but because they were in power. Convinced of the 
determination of the king to stand by his advisers, the 
Opposition had latterly thrown restraint to the winds. 
" They exist only upon public disasters, each of which 
galvanises them into a momentary activity." The 
calmness, however, with which these violent diatribes 
were received by the public may have inspired the 
reflection that the spirit of faction is much more disas- 
trous in a small state or city like Geneva, where the 
issues become of passionate interest to the whole popu- 
lation, than in a great city like London, where the mass 
of the inhabitants frequently remain totally indifferent 
to the parliamentary uproar of the Whigs and Tories, 
and the huge machine moves on undisturbed by the 
friction of the party wheels. Still he speaks with 
constant alarm of the " dangerous fury " of party spirit 
in England, and it is of interest to be reminded of the 
undoubted influence which its manifestation in this case 
exerted on the fortunes of the country. For there can be 
little question that it was the attitude of the Opposition 
which was the immediate cause of the precipitate and 


undignified, if necessary, surrender to the Colonies and 
the coalition. 1 

There are few more interesting questions of par- 
liamentary ethics than the proper attitude of an Oppo- 
sition during a war of which they either disapprove on 
principle or are obliged by their situation to criticise. 
The problem which a public man has to solve as to 
when it is his duty to express his opinions and when 
to be silent, is one which will largely depend on the 
circumstances of the moment and on the prevailing 
standard of public morality and national feeling. In 

1 The purely military aspect of the struggle is of great interest, 
especially in view of the recent successful conclusion of a war of 
somewhat similar character in South Africa. The following descrip- 
tion of it by Mallet in 1780 brings out some points of resemblance. 
The chief points of difference are of course the absence of general- 
ship on the British side in the American war, the far greater difficul- 
ties of communication, and above all the fact of foreign intervention 
by land and sea. 

On y aperc,oit deux points lumineux . . . les Anglais s'epar- 
pillant sur ce Continent, faisant des invasions plus que des conquetes, 
courant de ville en ville, de province en province, chassant des milices 
devant eux, exigeant des serments, devastant des chantiers et des 
magasins, envahissant des districts et finissant par les abandonner, en 
un mot rempbrtant presque toujours 1'avantage, et hors d'e"tat de le 
poursuivre. Les insurgents emprisonnes au Nord sous leurs drapeaux 
faisant au Midi une guerre de partis balanced, se ralliant avec autant 
de facilit^ qu'on les disperse, et plus adroits a cruder des deTaites que 
courageux a remporter des succes, mais tandis que leurs pelotons 
voltigeants coupent ou retardent les pas de leurs ennemis, 1'epuise- 
ment est dans le cceur, et s'ils restent maitres a la fin on verra se 
rdaliser 1'exemple inoui d'une R^publique fondle avec des dettes, sans 
numeraire pour les acquitter, avec des paysans mous . . . des soldats 
sans pain et sans souliers, des matelots sans navires, des chefs sans 
union, un gouvernement sans consistance, des mceurs altere'es, etc. 
(Annates, i., pp. 114, 115). 


the eighteenth century the standard in these respects 
was such as to allow of conduct which we may safely 
assume would not be possible in similar circumstances 
at the present time. The following is Mallet du Pan's 
conception of what the behaviour of the Opposition 
should have been, contrasted with what it was : 

" Expelled from office, the same men who had co- 
operated in the bills for the taxation of America became 
the most active advocates of their abandonment. When 
Parliament refused to retrace its steps, they anathema- 
tised the war which, once it had been solemnly approved 
by the sovereign, each of its members should have 
accepted in silence. If the Opposition leaders had been 
worthy of the name of patriot so universally and so 
vainly prostituted after having defended at Westminster 
the cause of America, they should, the moment that cause 
had become a hostile one, have devoted themselves to the 
cause of England. Far from showing any such heroic 
docility, nothing came from their lips but the violence of 
revolt. They applied themselves, with all the zeal, per- 
severance and activity which the country expected in 
vain to be employed in obedience to the wishes of the 
sovereign, to the task of denouncing the forces under 
arms and of obstructing their success, of discouraging 
public spirit, of fanning the excitement of the insurgents, 
and stimulating their courage by revealing to them the 
existence in the metropolis of a party ready to support 
them, in a word to rendering their unnatural strife as 
disastrous as it has proved to be. Determined champions 
of the colonists and more ardently desirous of their en- 
franchisement than Congress itself, they recognised and 
preached independence before the United States had 
thought of it themselves, and they have loaded ministers 
with contumely for disasters of which they themselves 
were the real authors." 

Of the effect of this conduct on public opinion 


abroad Mallet du Pan was a competent witness, and 
he speaks in the strongest terms of the influence of the 
Opposition harangues upon their dupes on the Con- 
tinent, who greedily devoured these satires and 
calumnies. A continental journalist, he remarks, paid 
to scrape together defamatory intelligence, would take 
a fortnight to elaborate against the British Govern- 
ment the charges with which a single oration by Mr. 
Fox would furnish him. 

Of that statesman, indeed, with his ' Eloquence fou- 
gueuse et atrabiliaire^ his inflammable imagination, the 
flexibility of his opinions (a trait which distinguished 
the new from the old Whigs) and his private excesses. 
Mallet du Pan did not disguise his distrust ; and he 
does not seem to have been much more favourably 
impressed by Burke's "inconceivable diatribes". But 
he pays a tribute to those Whigs who had abstained 
from the noisy violence of the more prominent party : 
to the lawyer-like integrity of Camden ; to Conway, 
superior to all mean personal motives ; to Lord John 
Cavendish, " of a house in which probity, honour and 
patriotism are hereditary " ; to Keppel ; to Dunning ; and 
finally to Lord Shelburne, ' dleve, emule, copiste meme, 
de Lord Chatham, soldat d Alexandre devenu roi apres 
sa mort] influential from his talents, his connections, 
and the splendour of his private life ; the tortuosities 
of whose political course, however, Mallet du Pan did 
not endeavour to follow. With greater warmth he 
speaks of Lord North, on whose dignified moderation 
during the months following his disgrace and his 
magnanimity in coming to the support of his perplexed 
successors he comments more than once, without per- 
haps comprehending, until North's complaisance led 


him so far as to ally himself with Fox, the part which 
culpable indolence and good nature played in his polit- 
ical conduct. 

The Annales contain some interesting comments 
on the inquiries into the conduct of military operations 
which, constantly proposed, were burked as far as pos- 
sible by the Government and used by the Opposition 
to extol the inculpated commanders at the expense of 
a blundering Ministry, and he contrasts the conduct 
of the Whigs during this war with their behaviour 
during Lord Chatham's Administration, when, anxious 
to sustain the credit of the Government, they were 
untiring in support of Pitt's severest measures against 
unfortunate officers. 1 

It would be tedious to follow in detail his analysis 
of the debates on the peace negotiations which raged, 
as he says, "with tumults worthy of an assembly of 
savages " during the installation of Rockingham's Minis- 
try and the premiership of Lord Shelburne. His general 
attitude has indeed already been indicated. He was 
astonished and scandalised at the revulsion of public 
opinion which overthrew Lord North and produced in 
Parliament a positive ''famine de la paix] an indecent 
eagerness to surrender all that the country had fought 
for. A dignified termination indeed was perhaps im- 

1 The recall of Rodney by the Rockingham Government after 
his ever-memorable defeat of De Grasse was the necessary result of 
the attacks which the Whigs had made upon him when in Opposition, 
and the admiral of the Tories was sacrificed quite as much to party 
resentment as to indignation at his disgraceful pillage of St. Eustatius, 
an event which our author stigmatises as it deserves, while doing full 
justice to the admiral's career in an excellent study of his character 
and his exploits. 



possible, and the circumstances on which Mallet du 
Pan animadverted with a pained surprise which would 
have sat well on a loyal Englishman were perhaps a 
blessing in disguise, as bringing to a rapid and complete 
conclusion the most ignominious chapter in our history. 
However clearly we may see that the position had 
become untenable and that a nominal connection with 
ruined and exasperated colonies was not worth the 
undoubted risk of continuing the war, we may yet 
sympathise with the frame of mind which dictated 
the following words : " There is no patriotic man to 
whom the abandonment of America would not have 
appeared a calamity only inferior to the continuation 
of the war, a calamity, however, which was susceptible 
of alleviation in the clauses of the final treaty. It 
would not have crossed his mind to desire a sacrifice 
as complete and burdensome as possible, or to reject in 
advance the possibility of compensations," the course 
actually taken by that part of the Opposition which 
specially piqued itself on its public spirit. 

The terms of peace as finally settled marked what 
may well have seemed to less perspicacious contempo- 
raries the definitive fall of the country from the splendid 
position she had gained by the treaty of 1763. The 
vindication by half a hemisphere of its independence, 
as Mallet du Pan remarked itself one of the greatest 
events of the eighteenth century, stamped this treaty 
as the most important in its consequences since the peace 
of Westphalia, which had consecrated after thirty years 
of warfare the destruction of the political system of 
Charles V. But apart from this, the material results of 
the struggle in the shape of British cessions to Spain 
and France were singularly meagre when weighed 


against the vast financial sacrifices which it had entailed 
upon all parties. 1 Most wars, however, as he remarked, 
gave rise to a similar reflection, and a veil had always 
to be drawn over their calamities and their costliness 
when it was a question of calculating the respective 
advantages of the combatants. As far as they went 
the advantages in the present case were with the allies. 
" With regard to this treaty the honour of it appears 
to remain with France, the danger with Spain, the 
good fortune with America, and I would add the 
disgrace with Great Britain if she had not so gloriously 
carried on hostilities. As for profit perhaps none can 
be claimed by any of them." On the whole Mallet 
du Pan questioned whether the results to Great Britain 
were as sinister as they appeared, whether the sacrifices 
she had made were not more specious than real, and 
whether the potentates of Europe would in the end 
have much to congratulate themselves upon in the 
example of insurrection which they had successfully 
encouraged in the New World. 

1 Mallet du Pan remarked of this war that it was, as regarded 
Europe, devoid of the horrors which had attended previous wars 
"Tout se reduit a jeter des millions dans 1'eau". 





NOWHERE in Europe, save in England, could a political 
writer have enjoyed the freedom in the expression of 
his opinions which a residence in the Republic of Geneva 
afforded to Mallet du Pan during these years. 1 But 
his work was subjected to interruption from a cause to 
which one who cared for his country's welfare could 
not remain indifferent, for the city was continuously 
a prey to domestic turmoil. Voltaire has described the 
faction fights of Geneva and the character of the people 
in the lines 

Chacun ecrit, chacun fait son projet 
On repre'sente et puis on repre'sente 
A penser creux tout bourgeois se tourmente. 

The struggle between the natifs on the one side and 
the aristocracy and bourgeoisie on the other had changed 
its character since Mallet's first intervention in 1770. 

1 " I have a few stray numbers of the Annales" wrote J. L. Mallet, 
" and can only say that a work conducted with such critical spirit, and 
so much political independence, would at this day be instantly sup- 
pressed if published in any part of Switzerland. So much for the 
comparative style of the press in 1775 and 1825." 


The natifs, no longer oppressed, but on the contrary 
courted, by the privileged parties, had steadily gained 
ground at their expense, and the contest had resolved 
itself into one between the aristocratic senate and the 
democratic element in the constitution. In this contest 
the Council was certainly no longer the most imperious 
or exacting party, and it had become essential, if any 
sort of balance was to be preserved and civil freedom 
to continue to exist, that some compromise should be 
found which, while limiting the encroachments of the 
powers of the Government, might set bounds to the 
indiscretion of democratic zeal. Mallet du Pan accord- 
ingly, who had hitherto scrupulously refrained from any 
political action, broke silence in 1780 with proposals 
for conciliation, 1 including the introduction of the prin- 
ciple of irremovability in public employments, in which 
he and the most enlightened of his compatriots saw 
a chance of safety. That the pamphlet recommended 
itself to moderate minds is equivalent in a time of revo- 
lution to saying that its advice fell on deaf ears, and 
events proceeded until an appeal of the Council to the 
Powers which guaranteed the Genevese constitution, 
the Swiss Cantons and France, precipitated a revolu- 
tionary outbreak on the night of the 8th April 1782, 
when the reprhentants and the armed mob gained an 
almost bloodless victory and threw into prison the sena- 
torial party and their friends. To this event probably 
belongs a note which Mallet appended to a belated 
number of the Annales containing an interesting study 
of the Confessions of Rousseau. 

1 Idees soumises a fexamen de ious les conciliateurs par un medi- 
ateur sans consequence, 1780. 


" This article," he says, " should have appeared 
three weeks ago. An inconceivable event which has 
plunged a portion of the inhabitants of the city into 
alarm and captivity has made me a prisoner of war 
in my native State. In such a situation a man must 
be more of a philosopher than I can pretend to be 
to keep a cool head. I ask pardon of the public for 
the feebleness of this number. My only wonder is 
that I have been able to finish it at all. Each line 
has cost me an effort. I had never imagined that I 
should live to deplore having fixed the seat of my 
labours in a republic ! " 

For two months the popular party reigned unchecked, 
placing in the hands of a Commission de SureU of 
eleven members extraordinary powers, powers such as 
those " by which almost all republics have perished," 
while the Swiss arbitrators in vain endeavoured to 
re-establish an equilibrium. Active intervention soon 
followed, an army of 10,000 Swiss Savoyard and 
French troops appeared before the walls, and, with 
the rest of the citizens, Mallet du Pan was, we are 
told, many a time called away from his writing-table 
to mount guard on the ramparts of the city. The ap- 
proach of the Powers only stimulated the excitement 
of the people, but the general alarm at last induced 
the provisional Government to send a deputation to 
the quarters of the Comte de la Marmora who was at 
the head of the Savoyard troops, and who was well 
known and trusted in Geneva. Mallet du Pan was 
attached to the mission, but his efforts were frustrated 
by the fanaticism of the other commissioners and of 
the mob, and after some days of frantic agitation the 
allied troops effected an entrance into the town without 
serious resistance, and order was re-established at the 


cost of the real independence and freedom of the 
Republic. "Another instance," wrote Mallet, "of 
liberty lost by attempts to increase it ; over and over 
again have happy nations delivered themselves into 
chains by the search for a government free from abuses, 
which not a single one of them has ever succeeded in 

The episode ended, as far as he was concerned, by 
the courageous publication in the Annales x of a graphic 
and sombre account of the late events, in which the 
writer traced the " spirit, the immorality, the degradation 
of principles, which ruled in Geneva at the moment of 
her ruin". It drew upon him a furious attack from 
the extremists of both parties and particularly from 
Brissot, the revolutionary champion with whom he was 
destined to break many a lance in later days. It would 
be difficult to exaggerate the influence of these events 
on his political ideas, they finally disillusioned him with 
republican government as such, and taught him a lesson 
in democracy which left indelible traces on his mind, 
and must partly account for the marvellous prescience 
with which he judged from its opening days the prob- 
able course of the French Revolution. 

About this time Linguet emerged from the Bastille, 
an event warmly welcomed in the Annales until his 
vanity and jealousy led him into an unwarrantable and 
ungenerous attack on Mallet du Pan, and finally opened 
his eyes to the character of his eccentric co-editor. 
From March 1783, therefore, Mallet carried on the 
work under the new title of Memoires historiques, 

1 Annales , vol. iv., nos. 25, 26. "Nous etions sature*s de liberte, 
les derniers troubles en furent les indigestions." 


politiques et litteraires sur Petat present de C Europe ] 
for a few months, until an offer from Paris induced him 
to break off an enterprise which he had carried on 
under many difficulties and with only moderate financial 

Political journalism on the Continent, or at least the 
wide circulation of gazettes containing political criticism 
and news, may be said to date from the Revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes ; and Holland, the refuge of all 
who had suffered from religious or political persecu- 
tion, was its headquarters. The journals published 
there in the French language were of two sorts, those 
which like the famous Gazette d Amsterdam or Gazette 
de Hollande (vehicule, as Bayle described it, de toutes 
les m'edisances de I' Europe], foreign papers written in 
French as the political language of Europe, were 
habitually hostile to France ; and secondly those which 
were written specially for French readers, French 
papers published abroad because their publication in 
France was not allowed. Both kinds, but especially 
the latter, whether unauthorised or allowed as a result 
of financial contract with the Foreign Office, were widely 
circulated in France before the Revolution, and supple- 

1 The Annales had been carried on under his sole control since 
the beginning of 1781, and thirty-six numbers in five volumes had 
been published ; the Memoires formed another volume often numbers. 
" Nee temere nee timide " was the motto which Mallet had prefixed to 
his journal. The account given in the text indicates the character 
of the work and its importance in the history of continental journalism; 
that it found a certain amount of public favour is clear from the fact 
that a translation was printed periodically in Florence, as well as two 
pirated editions in Switzerland and in the Netherlands, and that 
although it was forbidden in France it had a certain circulation in 
that country. 


merited to the great satisfaction of the public the sterility 
of the Official Gazette de France, whose exclusive privi- 
lege it was ' de ne rien dire ou de dire des riens '. The 
beginning of the century (1704) had indeed seen the 
establishment of the Journal de Verdun, the first 
French newspaper which treated in however discreet a 
fashion of history and passing events, and of the Mercure, 
founded in the preceding century as the Mercure galant 
which later developed as the Mercure de France into 
a literary and miscellaneous journal of great importance 
and politically became an official paper of the type of 
the Gazette. But it was the enterprise of the great 
publisher Panckoucke, son of a bookseller and writer 
of Lille who arrived in Paris to pursue his father's 
calling in 1764, which first made serious political 
journalism possible in France, and he owed his success 
in this respect, as we shall see, to his discernment in 
the choice of Mallet du Pan for the editorship of his new 
venture in connection with the Mercure de France. 

At the time of which we are speaking (1783) 
Panckoucke had fully established his position as the 
business head of French literature. He had been the 
publisher of the encyclopaedia and of Buffon's works, 
and he had amassed a large fortune while behaving 
with noble generosity to men of letters who owed to 
him a sensible amelioration of their hitherto unfortunate 
condition. He thus, as his brother-in-law Suard relates, 
became the friend and equal of the men of genius for 
whom his presses were at work, and his splendid houses, 
in Paris near the old Comedie Fran9aise and the Cafe 
Procope, and at the Bois de Boulogne, were the centre 
of a distinguished literary and artistic circle ; while his 
relations with men like Rousseau, Buffon, and Voltaire, 


whose writings had become affairs of state, brought 
him into relationship with ministers. His journalistic 
ventures alone must have ensured him more than enough 
attention from the Government, for he had control of 
the two official journals, the Gazette and the Mercure. 
In 1772 he had obtained permission to print in Paris 
a Journal historique et politique, known until the 
Revolution as the Journal de Geneve ; and soon after, 
buying up some competing papers, he consolidated 
them under the title of Journal de Bruxelles, as editor 
of which we have seen that he introduced Linguet to 
journalism. He now decided to unite to the Mercure 
de France the political journal which appeared weekly 
under the double title of Journal de Bruxelles and 
Journal historique et politique de Geneve, and offered 
Mallet du Pan the editorship 1 of the latter, reserving 

x By the contract signed in March 1784, Mallet du Pan was to 
receive as salary 7,200 livres a year, and 1,200 livres in addition for 
articles in the literary portion of the Mercure (about ,350 a year), 
with an addition of one livre for every copy sold over 10,259 a 
remuneration which Mr. Hatin describes as marking the high value 
put upon his services. Under this contract he seems to have received 
between 9,000 and 10,000 francs a year. Subsequent arrangements, as 
the circulation grew and the political portion became increasingly 
important, raised the editor's remuneration, until in 1789 Panckoucke, 
in acknowledgment of the " constant success " of the journal since 
1784 under Mallet's management, raised his salary to 12,000 francs 
a year, with 2,000 francs for every 1,000 additional subscriptions, 
and promised a pension to him if incapacitated, or to his widow in 
case of his death. And in 1790 the proprietorship of the Mercure 
historique et politique, whether published at Brussels or elsewhere, 
was divided between Mallet and Panckoucke. In 1791 Panckoucke 
engaged to pay him a salary of 18,000 francs. But by this time the un- 
popular opinions advocated in the Mercure politique and the persecu- 
tion to which it was subjected had seriously affected its circulation ; 


the right to compose from it the Journal de Bruxelles 
which was joined to the Mercure and appeared with 
it every Saturday. Mallet du Pan thus became in 
effect what he became titularly somewhat later, 1 sole 
editor of the political portion of the Mercure / the 
editors of the literary portion being the academicians 
Marmontel, Suard and La Harpe, the latter chiefly 
known to modern readers as the author of the Prophe'tie 
de Cazotte in which the fate of the social and literary 
flower of France in the Revolution is so dramatically and 
terribly portrayed. It may be added that during the 
whole period of their connection, and even after it had 
ceased, the relationship of Mallet du Pan and Panc- 
koucke and their families remained on the most cordial 
and friendly footing. The following boyish recollections 
of Panckoucke and his family by Mallet's son may 
here be quoted : 

" M. Panckoucke had a son, afterwards a distin- 
guished man of letters, and two daughters ; the son the 
youngest of the three ; all clever children, for whose 
education no expenses were spared, who had access 
to collections of prints and drawings and to a fine 

Panckoucke protested that it caused him a loss in 1791, and when 
Mallet left Paris in the spring of 1792 his salary was in arrear. 
In reply to his applications Panckoucke wrote in 1793 describing the 
ruin which, in spite of his efforts by starting journals on the revolu- 
tionary side, such as the Moniteur, had overtaken him, and pitifully 
begging for time to defray his debt. The first contract gave Mallet in 
addition books and engravings and works of art and of industry which 
came in for notice, Panckoucke reserving only the music. It is 
necessary to add that a less scrupulous editor might easily have 
enriched himself by Government pensions and gratuities. 

x ln 1788. From this date till its demise in 1792 the Journal de 
Geneve was apparently published also separately in Geneva. 


library, besides the advantage of a constant inter- 
course with men of letters and artists. Panckoucke 
himself, an odd, clever man, with some genius and no 
small eccentricity of character, took great pains to cul- 
tivate their tastes, and at a later period of his life, when 
the Revolution had destroyed his princely fortune, and 
nearly turned his brain, he wrote a grammar of the 
French language for the use of his son, which is a 
work of considerable merit. An intercourse with this 
family ought to have been a great advantage to us, as 
we lived within a short walk of each other ; 1 but when 
we met it was to play at hide-and-seek in the garden 
passages and staircase of the Hotel de Thou, and not 
to compare notes of our studies. " : 

The outward aspect of the newspaper which 
formed Mallet du Pan's occupation during the ten 
best years of his life was that of a small pamphlet of 
something like 1 50 pages. The number published on 
Saturday 3oth June 1787, to choose almost at random, 
began of course with the literary or real Mercure. It 
opened with a few short pieces of verse, in this case some 
lines on Le Temps present, followed by an elaborate 
acrostiche by several writers, a charade, an enigma, and 
a logogriphe. Then followed a long review by Mallet 
du Pan of a history of Queen Elizabeth by Mdlle de 
Keralio, a criticism under the head Spectacles of a 
drama entitled Tarare, and under the head Varietes a 
semi-serious causerie on the gxickets or passages leading 
from one quarter of Paris to another, a letter to the 
editors on an exhibition of pictures by art students, and 
short notices of books, engravings and music. This 
part of the paper closes with the formal "approbation" 

1 Mallet du Pan lived in Paris in the Rue de Tournon (No. 9), 
the spacious street leading up to the Palais du Luxembourg which 
still retains its eighteenth century character. 

2 Reminiscences. 


of the censor. The Journal politique, which forms 
the second portion, contains articles on correspondence 
from Vienna, from Frankfort, and from Madrid, with 
various items of news; one from London, which happens 
to be of no particular interest, commenting on the health 
of the Prince of Wales, the movements of ships of war 
and the launch of the Orion, the speech of the Viceroy 
of Ireland proroguing Parliament (given in full), on Mr. 
Pitt's departmental economies, and on a visit of the 
royal family to Mr. Whitbread's brewery 'etablissement 
prodigieux! and concluding with an anecdote of the 
great Lord Chatham. Under the head of "France" 
(which generally begins with court intelligence such as 
signatures by the royal family of the contracts of 
marriage of the nobility, presentations and appoint- 
ments) there is a royal order (rbglemenfy on finance and 
commerce, an account of a fire at the Tuileries, of 
certain architectural work in Paris, of a sitting of the 
Academy of Arras, and the text of the Treaty of 
Commerce between France and Russia, and items on 
the Rentes and Loteries. The number ends with an 
article on political events in the Netherlands. 

Mallet's son has left an account of the life led by 
the writer in Paris, unfortunately wanting in minuteness 
which is not supplied by the diary kept by Mallet du 
Pan himself. As time went on his life clearly became 
less isolated (BufTon was one of the few eminent men 
of this time whom he seems to have known intimately), 
and he occupied himself in studying the public life of 
Paris in many aspects, visiting prisons and institutions of 
all kinds. But the life of the man was his work, and 
it is useless to look for picturesque or amusing details 
such as many other memoirs of the time supply. 


" My family had no natural connections or acquaint- 
ances in Paris, and our life there during the first two 
or three years was altogether domestic. My father as 
a man of letters had access to a large and distinguished 
circle, but he availed himself very sparingly of this 
advantage. His life was laborious, he took regular 
exercise, and had but little leisure for the literary and 
fashionable coteries of Paris, the moral atmosphere of 
which was not congenial to his tastes and habits. Edu- 
cated with simplicity, and under the influence of moral 
feelings, he looked with no favourable eye on the luxuri- 
ous and loose course of life of the higher classes in 
Paris, and was perhaps too much inclined to treat with 
contempt the philosophical pretensions of the salons. 
He had been accustomed at Geneva to great freedom of 
opinion and speech, and wanted that easy and graceful 
acquiescence which can alone make us acceptable guests 
at the tables of the great. My father likewise laboured 
under some disadvantages in his intercourse with the 
men of letters of Paris ; for, independently of his being 
a sort of intruder in that field, where many of them 
reaped a harvest of pensions and laurels, they did not 
see without jealousy one of their most valuable literary 
stalls filled by a stranger ; nor did the earnestness of 
his opinions harmonise with the general tone of French 
conversation. A better school of opinion prevailed at 
that time than when Diderot and D'Holbach's parties 
reigned supreme. Suard and Marmontel were moder- 
ate and reasonable men ; but the Encyclopedic was 
still high on the horizon, and a young Genevese who 
ventured to dispute its decisions was not likely to meet 
with much indulgence. Nor was my father more for- 
tunate in his politics ; for he was shocked on the one 
hand with the levity of the people, the profligacy of 
the higher classes, the arbitrary tone and measures of 
the Government, and on the other, did not see with- 
out surprise and fearful anticipations, those searching 
questions which arose out of the American war brought 


to the bar of every drawing-room. The manner in 
which these questions were discussed, and the opinions 
which generally prevailed on political subjects, were so 
much at variance with the Government de facto, and 
the demoralised state of society ; so inconsistent with 
everything that was, that my father, although born a 
Republican, and sensitively alive to the blessings of 
freedom, often found himself checking that spirit of in- 
discriminate innovation which seemed ready to break 
through all restraints. His notes on passing events, 
from 1785 to 1793, confirm the impressions generally 
entertained of the low estimate in which the French 
Government was held at the period immediately pre- 
ceding the Revolution, and its apparent unconscious- 
ness of the contempt in which it was held. The court 
and ministers went on with their worn-out machinery, 
interfering in every way with the press, with courts of 
justice, and private rights ; issuing Lettres de Cachet, 
and bold enough against individuals, but wavering and 
irresolute in all measures of real moment, distributing 
pensions and gratuities to literary men, almost all en- 
gaged in pulling down the old fabric ; and on the eve 
of a Revolution so pregnant with calamities, the people 
apparently as light-hearted as in the gayest times of 
the Monarchy. Gluck and Picini, Cagliostro, and the 
'Manage de Figaro,' successively engrossing the public 
mind ! Such times were full of subjects for observation 
to a man of sense and political discernment, and if my 
father's daily occupations had been less urgent, his 
temperament more calm, and the interest he took in 
the Revolution of a less intense and painful nature, he 
might have collected and left valuable memoirs. The 
rapid progress of events furnished ample materials for 
a periodical publication ; but although my father did 
not feel the irksome necessity of enlarging upon trifling 
circumstances, and of substituting conjectural observa- 
tions for facts, so frequently the lot of periodical writers, 
the importance and interest of daily occurrences, and the 
mass of information which flowed from every quarter 


required his undivided attention ; and the analysing 
these materials for the press, the distinguishing how far 
party feelings might prevail over truth, and the com- 
menting with spirit and discrimination on the occur- 
rences of the week, was a task of great labour and 
difficulty. The talent for a quick and powerful analysis 
is not uncommon in this country ; but independently of 
the superiority of the Mercure as a periodical work, 
there is a marked difference between an avowed and 
an anonymous publication. My father's name was 
affixed to his writings, whereas the London periodical 
publications are nearly all anonymous. Still greater 
difficulties, however, stood in my father's way. From 
the time that he undertook the political part of the 
Mercure, in the year 1783, to the period of the Re- 
volution, a most rigid and capricious censorship left 
him in a state of complete uncertainty as to the fate 
of the sheets prepared for publication. He entertained 
upon many great questions, both of home and foreign 
policy, opinions altogether at variance with those of 
the Government. Few numbers of the Mercure, there- 
fore, escaped the severe scrutiny of the censors ; and 
I have heard him say, that in consequence of the sup- 
pression of entire articles, he was frequently under the 
necessity of supplying many pages of new matter within 
a few hours of going to press ! " l 

A contemporary account describes the nature of 
the Journal politique. " This journal takes the place 
of all the gazettes, it is compiled from all the public 
prints of Europe and from special correspondences es- 
tablished in the capitals. The facts are connected with 
so much method and with such scrupulous exactness 
that the news of the different kingdoms is given in the 
form of materials ready for use as history, and their 
description applies more particularly to the account of 
English affairs." Three censors watched over the 

1 Reminiscences. 


publication, but for a writer of Mallet's historical turn 
of mind the restriction may have been less irksome 
than it seemed, and he was at all events enabled to 
realise in a more satisfactory manner than before his 
ideal of the more important functions of the journalist, 
that of distinguishing between truth and falsehood, and 
presenting important facts in their proper perspective. 
The volumes which contain his articles at this period 
are doubtless less interesting to the general reader than 
the Annales in which he was free to comment on 
political events ; but the years which the writer was 
now to spend in sifting and studying European affairs 
must have immensely ripened his judgment and in- 
creased his store of knowledge. In foreign affairs, as 
we shall see, he was allowed rather more freedom than 
in domestic matters, except where the Government had 
some line of policy or intrigue to advocate, and he 
possessed the art which served him well of confining 
his comments to short but illuminating paragraphs, 
and of enlivening the course of his narrative by 
summary observations which gave it meaning and 
supplied food for reflection. By a curious contradiction 
also, the literary part of the Mercure was comparatively 
free from this censorship ; and in his articles on philo- 
sophic, economic, and historical works, Mallet was ac- 
cordingly able to introduce the larger treatment of 
political affairs, the absence of which had hitherto kept 
French journalism at so great a distance from periodical 
writing in England and even in Germany. In all his 
writing from this time may be found the note of almost 
exaggerated distrust of theorists, 1 of hostility to meta- 

1 Cf. an article on Grotius, whom he calls ennemi methodique du 
genre humain ! 



physical systems and eloquent generalisations, of con- 
tempt for the crude doctrines and rash speculations 
promulgated by the successors of Rousseau. This atti- 
tude, however, sprang from no indifference to the real 
interests and condition of the people. In an article, 
for instance, on a project for establishing new hospitals 
in Paris we find him asking why the sufferings of the 
people seem to increase with the external prosperity of 
States ; he continually dwells on the intolerable burden 
of taxation on the poor caused by bad laws : he lauds 
the growth of religious toleration in Europe, and 
notices with satisfaction the profound humanity which 
had distinguished the debates in the House of Com- 
mons on the proposal to repeal the Test and Corpora- 
tion Acts, and the commencement of Wilberforce's 
noble campaign against slavery. Nor was his sym- 
pathy with free institutions the less sincere because 
he refused to take words for realities and identify free- 
dom with the forms of a republic, or because he had 
come to see in a limited monarchy the best guarantee 
for the security and happiness of a State. The horrors 
of the Revolution led him in 1793 to repeat the maxim 
which, as he then said, had for fifteen years guided his 
thoughts : 

For forms of government let fools contest 
Whate'er is best administered is best. 

His natural prepossession in favour of liberal political 
systems accordingly did not prevent him even at this 
time from passing an eloquent eulogy on Frederick of 
Prussia and the great machine of state, with its laborious 
activity, its plans always prepared with mature thought 
and carried out with perseverance, which his firm will 


had inspired. But Mallet's thoughts turned with in- 
creasing admiration to England l where the dangers both 
domestic and external which had seemed to threaten 
her very existence were vanishing one by one under 
the vivifying rule of Chatham's "astonishing" son. 
In his alarm at the violence of party and the instability 
of Governments, he had but half suspected the resources 
of a constitution which, after three Cabinet revolutions, 
gave England an administration proof against assault 
and strong in the confidence of both King and people, 
just at the moment when it was necessary to lay afresh 
the foundations of the national power. He watched 
with wonder the re-establishment of the finances, the 
activity of the legislature, the growth of the population, 
the progress of invention and industry, and the exten- 
sion of commerce. The general confidence in the fore- 
sight and talents of the Minister and the suspension of 
party strife taught him that faction lost half its danger in 
a country where party differences were not differences 
of irreconcilable principle. " For eighty years a Tory 
had been the friend of monarchy without abandoning 
liberty, and a Whig the friend of liberty without re- 
nouncing monarchy." Finally, sympathising for the 
most part with Pitt's enlightened measures, he was now 
also able to appreciate his rival Fox, whom he described 
in 1787 as "the most talented of European statesmen, 
worthy to govern an empire while his associates har- 
angued it". He followed their speeches from this 

1 " II est a remarquer," he writes in his diary, " que les trois Puis- 
sances qui ont servi les insurgents centre les Anglais ont e"te toutes 
trois abimees par cette intervention qui devrait ecraser 1'Angleterre, 
tandis que celle-ci s'est eleve'e au plus haut degre de prosperite, d'union, 
de' commerce, de navigation, d'amelioration dans ses finances." 


time forward so closely that he might almost have said 
with Byron : 

We, we have seen the intellectual race 
Of giants stand like Titans face to face, 
Athos and Ida with a dashing sea 
Of eloquence between. 

The commercial treaty with France was the one 
of Pitt's measures which excited his keenest interest, 
inspired as it was by the teaching of Adam Smith, 
"the most profound and philosophic of all the meta- 
physical writers who have dealt with economic ques- 
tions ". The writings of Adam Smith appealed to 
Mallet precisely because of their freedom from doc- 
trinairism. The best economic writings, he said, quite 
in the spirit of the modern historical school, were those 
of Smith in England and of MM. de Fourbonnais and 
Necker in France, which were not so much "general 
treatises as books for the special use of the states in 
which they had been composed ". ' ' The modern doctors 
think their circumspection puerile and unworthy of 
genius, an opinion which is not surprising in persons 
accustomed to govern the whole world by phrases." 
He constantly deprecated insistence on so-called prin- 
ciples. Nations were not ( des pieces de charpente' which 
can be arranged in a workshop on a definite plan. 
What is practicable in one State is not so in another, 
and theories in legislation must bend to local circum- 
stances. It was from this point of view that Mallet 
warmly championed Pitt's treaty which was beginning 
to be unpopular in France just when it was becoming 
acceptable in England. Without maintaining that free 
trade was beneficial between countries at different stages 
of development, he argued that the economic condition 


of France and England made closer commercial re- 
lations of self-evident advantage to both countries. 

The event, however, which filled a larger space 
in his articles on English affairs during the years 
1786-8 than any other was the trial of Warren 
Hastings. There are few more curious or character- 
istic pages in the history of the expansion of England 
than this famous trial. It was extraordinary, as Mallet 
du Pan observed, that a " nation which had usurped a 
great part of Hindustan should wish to superimpose the 
rules of morality upon those of an administration based 
essentially on force, injustice and violence " ; and that 
it should reward with impeachment the man who had 
preserved the Indian conquests against greater odds 
than those which in other parts of the Empire had 
inflicted such disastrous losses on Great Britain. The 
spectacle was well calculated to revive traditional 
charges of British hypocrisy, especially when motives 
of personal spite and party animosity were seen 
to play a large part in the proceedings against the 
ex-Governor General. 1 Yet nothing can be more 

1 " A short time previously to the resignation of the Earl of Mans- 
field as Lord Chief Justice a motion was made in Parliament by 
Mr. Elliott, a friend of Mr. Pitt's, recommending a pension to the 
Lord Chief Justice in consideration of his great services and his 
great age. Lord Mansfield, who was not, it seems, fully aware of 
the purport of the motion, sent the next day for Sir John Macpherson 
and desired him to ascertain whether he was to take it as a hint 
to resign. Sir John applied to Sir Archibald Macdonald, who spoke 
to Mr. Pitt, by whom he was assured that he did not wish Lord 
Mansfield to retire one day sooner than he might think it proper. 
The Chief Justice, however, soon resigned ; but on his return to him 
with the information he had obtained, Sir J. Macpherson was asked 
by Lord Mansfield what he thought of Mr. Pitt. ' I think, my 
Lord, that he is a great minister.' 'Ah, Sir John,' rejoined the 


certain than that indifference to the abuses of mal- 
administration, corruption and violence, which the par- 
liamentary inquiries of 1782 had revealed, would have 
stamped the British legislature as unworthy of the 
responsibility of empire ; and it was no great step from 
attempts to reform the Government of India to attacks 
on the man whom the proprietors of the East India 
Company had retained in power in defiance of both 
Parliament and the directors. Mallet du Pan indeed 
recognised that " whatever the issue of the trial it 


would do honour to the British Constitution," as proving 
that neither credit, nor wealth, nor the merit attaching 
to great services, could shield an administrator from 


an examination into his conduct. It would have been 
natural for one who had sympathised with the objects 
of Fox's East India Bill to have accepted the popular 
view of Warren Hastings. But the unmeasured abuse 
of which he became the object soon revolted Mallet's 

judge in his peculiar voice, ' A great little minister. Did you ever 
hear, Sir John, of a minister prosecuting another minister ? Would 
a great minister have suffered Mr. Hastings to be arraigned?' 
' Justice may have required it,' said Sir John. ' Justice, Sir John, 
what is political justice? who is she? where is she? did you ever 
see her ? Do you know her colour ? Her colour is Blood ! I have 
administered justice for forty years, but that was justice between 
man and man ; as to justice between one minister and another I 
know not what it means.' 

" This anecdote having been related to Lord Thurlow by Sir John 
Macpherson, 'Sir,' said old Surly, 'you need not have said that 
this was spoken by Lord Mansfield. He was a man who was right 
ninety-nine times out of a hundred ; and if he chanced to err there 
is not one man out of a hundred who could find it out.' 

" This anecdote is related with some variations in the second part 
of WraxaWs Memoirs Wraxall had it no doubt from Sir John 
Macpherson " (J. L. Mallet's Reminiscences). 


sense of justice, and his anglophile susceptibilities 
were no doubt aroused by the malevolence which the 
public washing of English dirty linen excited among 
the tribe of continental gazetteers. He accordingly 
informed Hastings through a common friend, that if he 
would furnish notes on the principal heads of charge 
he would endeavour to give a fairer statement of the 
arguments than could be collected from the speeches of 
the managers of the impeachment. 1 Hastings grate- 
fully availed himself of the offer, and Mallet du Pan 
accordingly made use of this information in his analyses 

1 Mallet du Pan's son, who was at school in England at this 
time, writes as follows : " I had been twice to the House of Lords 
during the trial, and the person of Mr. Hastings, his white hair, the 
fine character of his head, and the situation in which he stood at the 
Bar, had strongly excited my sympathy. Mr. Burke's impassioned 
and almost vindictive manner and looks, whilst speaking in the 
Manager's Box (of which I have a distinct recollection, as well as of 
the great man himself, dressed in a snuff-coloured suit, with bag and 
sword), had likewise contributed to give me an unfavourable impres- 
sion of a cause in which so much party-spirit seemed to be engaged." 
At a later date when he was again in London seeking employment, he 
relates (1797) how Hastings called upon him (" ce que n'a fait aucune 
autre personne"), invited him to his house, and "entered at length and 
with great indulgence into the objects of my journey to this country. 
He warned me not to be too sanguine, for the difficulties of procur- 
ing a situation for a foreigner were considerable ; and added, that 
his desire of avoiding all appearance of private solicitation in his own 
cause had prevented him on his return from India from cultivating 
the society of persons of rank and influence, to whom he had but 
little access ; but that he retained a strong sense of his obligations to 
my father, and would do for me whatever lay in his power. As he 
was going out of town for some weeks, he desired me to write to 
him if I thought he could be of any service, offered me his purse 
and his house, and left me strongly impressed with the kindness of 
my reception." 


and comments on the speeches. As may be imagined 
his advocacy of an unpopular cause drew down upon 
him savage attacks from the French press. Claviere 
and Brissot printed an abusive pamphlet against 
him, and Brissot and Mirabeau together entered 
into a violent controversy : with him, insinuating that 
he had been bought by Nabob gold. But posterity 
in this as in some other matters has vindicated the 
judgment of the journalist, and recognised the truth 
of Warren Hastings' own contention when he said : 
" No man in a station similar to mine, and with 
powers so cramped and variable as mine were, ever 
laboured with so passionate a zeal for the welfare of 
a nation as I did to promote the happiness and pros- 
perity of the people under our jurisdiction ". 

It is unnecessary to dwell on the many proofs 
afforded by Mallet du Pan's writings of his familiarity 
with and appreciation of English institutions, history 
and literature, and of his sympathy with much in the 
national character which he seems instinctively to have 

1 In the Analyse des Papiers Anglais, Mirabeau's newly founded 
journal, which he had for some reason, probably because of his sup- 
port to the revolutionary party in Holland and his advocacy of the 
Government's policy in regard to that country, obtained permission 
to publish free from censorship. He proceeded to pass judgment 
on the politics of the whole of Europe in spite of Panckoucke's 
protests, who complained that his privilege was being violated, and 
he waged war on Mallet du Pan. Brissot, who assisted Mirabeau 
in the campaign, writes in his memoirs (ii., 385) : " I must do our 
adversary the justice to say that he had a wide knowledge of history 
and was well acquainted with the subjects on which he wrote, while 
Mirabeau was entirely without information ". 

Mirabeau's journalistic career, however, forms an important 
landmark in the struggle for the liberty of the press in France. 


preferred to that of the people among whom his lot 
was cast. He gave the strongest indication of this 
preference when he chose England as the place of 
education of his eldest son, a fortunate choice which 
doubtless decided the future nationality of his de- 
scendants. The boy accordingly spent three years, 
from 1786 to 1789, at school or in families in this 
country, and returned to Paris a pronounced anglo- 
maniac as the following passage in which he describes 
his return shows : l 

" We did not go straight to Paris the evening of 
our arrival, but to a villa of Panckoucke's in the Bois 
de Boulogne, the summer residence of his family. 
The English mania was then at its height ; and 
Grimm, in his memoirs, does not overstate the rage 
that prevailed for everything English, save and except 
the English Constitution, to which no one thought 
it desirable to assimilate the new political institutions 
of the country. Grimm, who no doubt prided himself 
on his costume and the fashions of his own time, is 
angry beyond measure with this English mania, and 
draws some very absurd conclusions from it ; but it 
could not fail to be agreeable to a lad just landed 
from Dover, and completely equipped h f Anglaise. 
The morning after my arrival the young ladies were 
not satisfied till they had completely rummaged all my 
baggage, and feasted their eyes on English clothes, 
an English dressing apparatus, English trinkets, and 
even English boots, of which the leather, as I well re- 
member, was handled by delicate female hands, and 
praised for its remarkable softness and pliancy." 

It is not to the pages of the Mercure with its 
formal official announcements and uninteresting record 

1 Reminiscences. 


of unimportant passing events, that we can turn for a 
picture of pre-revolutionary France. For here the 
three censors were inexorable, permitting no comment 
on internal political events. 1 

"A political writer," indeed, writes J. L. Mallet, 2 
" was at that time a considerable person at Paris, and 
my father's talents and independence insured him public 
distinction of some sort or other. But the political part 
of the Mercure was necessarily of inferior importance so 
long as the Government exercised a strict censure over 
all political opinions ; for, careless as they were to the 
publication of the Encyclopedic, Rousseau and Diderot's 
works, Raynal's History of the Indies, and the many able 
publications in which the principles of religion, morals, 
government, were eloquently and fearlessly discussed, 
the French Ministry watched a newspaper paragraph, 
or the announcement of the most insignificant piece of 
intelligence, with the most jealous eye. Even within 
a few months of the Revolution and of those political 
convulsions which laid the whole fabric of government 
prostrate, the Abb6 Auger, censor of the Mercure, 
went on with an unsparing hand, cutting up my 
father's manuscript, suppressing his remarks on the 
affairs of Holland, and even simple statements of fact 
such as the King of Prussia's death, and notices of 
the publication of Necker's Memoir e Justificatif and 
of Calonne's dismissal." 

The morbid sensibility of the Government ex- 
tended not only to matters of fact and of opinion, 
but even to modes of expression ; the censor, for 
instance, objected to the Stadtholder being described 
as Prince of Orange and three times substituted the 

1<( On suit en France 1'axiome oppose a dicere de vitiis parcere 
personis. On deTend de parler des choses, et Ton tolere les insultes 
aux personnes " (Mallet du Pan's Notes). 

2 Reminiscences. 


word Nassau for Orange. On Dutch affairs generally 
Mallet du Pan more than once found himself in conflict 
with the Ministry, for when he had a strong opinion 
his inflexibility of character made it difficult for him 
to avoid giving offence, and he was utterly incapable 
of writing to order. Holland was during the years pre- 
ceding the Revolution a centre of diplomatic intrigue. 
The French Government endeavoured to dominate 
Dutch politics by encouraging the democratic agitation 
which had gained so dangerous a foothold in the effete 
Republic, and which culminated, to the surprise and 
even consternation of Versailles, in the insurrection 
of 1 786 and the flight of the Stadtholder. Mallet du 
Pan had foretold that this imprudent and unprincipled 
policy would result in the interference of the Powers, 
England and Prussia, which supported the Stadtholder- 
ate ; he had seen enough of revolutionary violence to 
assure him that it generally meant the ruin of free 
States ; he considered that it was not the business of 
Governments to make revolutions ; and the effect upon 
public opinion in France of the American war (the 
" American inoculation " was his phrase) caused him 
to view with the utmost alarm the repetition by the 
Foreign Minister, Vergennes, of the mistake of favour- 
ing insurrection abroad. 1 During the disturbances 
which were followed in 1787 by the Prussian invasion 
of Holland, he accordingly wrote in this sense against 

1 The following sentence is from Mallet du Pan's private note- 
book, " Le Gouvernement de France a successivement detruit toutes 
les formes de gouvernement en divers etats. La democratie, selon 
lui toujours funeste, il 1'a detruite a Geneve pour y dtablir 1'aristocratie, 
detruit 1'aristocratie, en Suede pour y substituer la Monarchic, 
1'aristocratie en Amerique pour y substituer la democratie ! " 


the policy of the Ministry, and Vergennes, to whom 
the censor had communicated his article, stopped the 
press, had an article written in a contrary sense and 
instructed Mallet du Pan to insert it. Mallet im- 
mediately went to Versailles and, having requested 
an audience of the Minister, informed him that he 
considered the notice he had just received as an 
order to return the privilege which had been granted 
him, and that he came to surrender his licence rather 
than write against his conscience. Struck with this 
spirit of independence in a man whose subsistence 
depended on his pen, the Minister seized his hand and 
exclaimed : " This must not be ; you will give up your 
article, I shall give up mine, and we will remain 
friends ". A tribute indeed from the man who said 
that next to an author what he most despised was a 
book ! 

Under the Comte de Montmorin, who succeeded 
Vergennes in 1787, Mallet's position became increas- 
ingly difficult. His judgment had proved too correct 
to please the Government, and it exposed him to the 
denunciations of the Dutch patriots and their French 
sympathisers who, like Mirabeau, besieged the Foreign 
Office with complaints against him. He was threatened 
with the loss of his editorship, and worse, if he did not 
show greater complaisance. He wrote a very out- 
spoken letter of remonstrance to Montmorin, which 
another minister might, as he said, probably have 
answered by a lettre de cachet. But Montmorin, be- 
tween whom and the writer a feeling of warm regard 
was to spring up in later days, took it in good part, and 
even rendered Mallet du Pan a service by frustrating 
an intrigue of Mirabeau to get the Mercure transferred 


to himself by accusing Mallet of being a rabid Anglo- 
maniac, treacherously writing against the views of the 

"If," wrote Mallet at a later date 1 in reply to 
accusations of being in the pay of the court, " I did 
not during the six years I lived under the old 
Government lose my establishment and become a 
prisoner in the Bastille, I owe it to the consistency of 
my attitude to the authorities, and to my offers of re- 
tirement a hundred times repeated. . . . Determined 
to lose all rather than sacrifice my independence, I 
declared over and over again to various ministers that 
they might suppress all I wrote, but that they should 
never extract from me a line or a eulogy contrary to 
my conscience." 

This line of conduct, whatever its merits, did not 
add to the interest of the paper, and had it not been 
for the existence of a private journal which Mallet du 
Pan kept under the title Observations historiques sur 
Paris* from 1785 we should be almost without an indi- 
cation of his impressions of the condition of the country 
before the Revolution. Nothing could be more striking 
than the contrast between the two records. To judge 
from the Mercure the government of France might be 

1 Mercure, Nov. 1790. 

2 M. Sayous, vol. i., ch. vi., gives some full extracts from these 
rough notes which were evidently intended for the writer's own use 
on some future occasion, and were indeed probably used by him in 
the work he was engaged on when obliged to fly from Paris in 1792. 
It was then lost with his other papers, the work, as he says, of half a 
lifetime. The notebook contains a multitude of political reflections 
and descriptions of significant incidents, anecdotes of ministers and 
literary people, and statistical observations ; a mass of details of the 
most vivid interest of which it is, unfortunately, impossible to give 
anything but the baldest notion in this place. 


proceeding in the most orderly and normal fashion ; a 
glance at the diary reveals the whole story of the vacil- 
lation and embarrassment of the royal administration l 
and foreshadows too clearly its approaching dissolution. 
The born observer reveals himself in these pages with 
their record of characters and significant incidents, of 
bons mots and manners, of the licence of political com- 
ment in the salons and in the streets. " Paris," said 
Mallet, "begins by astonishing, then it amuses, finally 
it overwhelms one." 

Nothing was more characteristic than the attitude 
of the Government towards the degraded race of so- 
called men of letters in Paris, a mass of half-educated 
scribblers turned out by the academies, musees and lycees, 
"pernicious establishments which foster the mania for 
writinef". Immense sums were lavished by ministers 

o * 

in pensions and gratuities to servile pamphleteers, the 
very men who at the outbreak of the Revolution turned 
round and became Friends of the People and syco- 
phants of the mob, and who, having previously dis- 
paraged Mallet du Pan as an unruly republican, then 
branded him as the slave and pensioner of the court. 2 
" A certain number of persons," he notes on one occa- 
sion, " most of them flatterers, spies and intriguers, 

1 Described by a wit of the day as " Corps (f elephant avec une tete 
de linotte ". 

2 Obliged to defend himself, he wrote : " Certes on ne m'a trouve 
ni sur les livres rouges, ni sur les registres des graces et pensions. 
Je n'ai pas meme participe a celles qui sont acquittdes sur les enormes 
redevances que payent les journaux politiques ; et je m'en felicite, 
non par un desinteressement ridicule, mais parce que ayant droit a 
ces benefices, je n'ai a me reprocher ni une lettre, ni une demarche, ni 
une visite, ni une sollicitation qui ait pu tendre a le rappeler. Je n'ai 
rien demande, rien refu" (Mercure de France, Nov. 1790). 


have just received the collier de servitude in the shape 
of great pensions from M. de Calonne. The literary 
men of Paris in general are enchanted with these 
favours, three hundred of them have applied for 
pensions. Voila a quoi on emploie I'argent des 
peuples ! " 

One of them wrote of Louis XVI. and Calonne : 

Digne sang de Henri, puis-jete meconnaitre ? 
Que dis-je ? II vit encore, et Sully va renaitre ! 

" Ce decent Le Brun ! " is the comment. " Three months 
ago he received a pension of two thousand francs. He 
is not ungrateful ! " 

Of the two requisites of good government postulated 
by a wit of the time, that the monarch should have 
before his eyes the fear of hell, and his ministers that 
of the freedom of the press, the second can hardly, 
under such a regime, be said to have existed. 

Of Calonne, the nominee of Vergennes and D'Artois, 
the minister who completed the ruin of the finances, 
who was always ready to defray any extravagance of 
the Court and the administration, who paid the debts 
of the Princes and bought Saint-Cloud and Rambouillet 
for the Queen, and who, shown up and disgraced 
before the assembly of Notables, reappeared in later 
days as one of the blind leaders of the blind in the 
emigration, some curious details are given ; especially 
as to his expenditure of public money on his mistresses. 
He is sufficiently described as a man ' qui faisait du 
plaisir une affaire, et des affaires unplaisir '. Vergennes 
fares little better in these pages. He figures indeed in 
the histories as the last serious statesman of pre-revolu- 
tionary France, and his consistent policy of hostility to 


England appeals to the patriotism of his countrymen. 
At the conclusion of the American war he stood out 
as the greatest and most successful of European foreign 
ministers. In reality, his policy of encouraging insur- 
rection and sowing discord in foreign States recoiled 
with disastrous effect on his own country. His ambi- 
tious efforts hopelessly embarrassed France financially ; 
he was the opponent of Turgot and he sacrificed 
Necker to Calonne. Mallet du Pan describes him as 
the chief author of the actual crisis of affairs. He 
and Maurepas, virtual Prime Minister during the 
earlier years of Louis XVI., "have," he says, "been 
the worthy mentors of the king, they have lulled him 
into indifference to public business and have multiplied 
the intrigues of the court par leur Idchete & tout laisser 
faire". Of Vergennes' private life, his somewhat 
obscure origin, his disreputable marriage, his incred- 
ible meanness in money matters, a deplorable account 
is given, and he is stated to have died with the largest 
private fortune amassed in the public service since 
Mazarin. 1 

The following is his account of a visit to the king's 
private library at Versailles : 

" Livres de choix of various kinds, all magnificently 
bound and enclosed in glass bookcases. In the sup- 
plementary library . . . are the new books. I saw a 
quantity of English books of travel, history and science, 
the English Review, the Annual Register, etc. Presi- 
dent Coppay's poor refutation of M. Necker's work is 

1 Marshal de Broglie remarked on this occasion: "Je ne sais 
comment font aujourd'hui nos ministres. Us deviennent tous 
opulents. J'ai vu le Cardinal de Fleury frugal, simple, laissant peu 
de fortune ; Orry n'a pas laisse dix milles livres de rente." 


side by side with it. There are collections of the Gazettes 
of Leyden, of Amsterdam, of the Bas Rhin, the Journal 
de Paris, Affiches, the Gazette de France, and the Statutes 
at large of the British Parliament for many years. The 
king reads much, and with the exception of the En- 
cyclopedia all the books in his library have been through 
his hands. He prefers English books to French. He 
has read through the whole of the great English 
Universal History in a translation." 

Some anecdotes of the queen are related which re- 
flect the popular opinion of her. At the Assembly of the 
Notables she wished to have galleries erected for her- 
self and her ladies. The king refused brusquely, saying : 
" You are not regent ". There are many allusions to 
the affair of Cardinal de Rohan and to the frivolous 
amusements and companionships in which the queen 
indulged ; how, for instance, on the evening of an 
Easter Day on which she had taken the Sacrament 
she went with her whole cortege to the Comtesse de 
Polignac at Monteuil, the party returning to the 
public scandal ' dans des brouettes aux flambeaux '. As 
an illustration of the familiarity which she allowed to 
her courtiers, one of them is described as lolling on an 
ottoman in her presence and beginning a speech, ' Si 
favais rhonneur d'etre Louis XVI T and the well- 
known story is quoted of her remark to Madame 
Victoire ' Ces Parisiens sont indignes ' and of the Prin- 
cess's rebuke ' Madame, dites indignes ! ' 

There are curious and terrible details of the treat- 
ment of the unhappy persons confined in the prisons 
and madhouses ; there is little evidence of the gaiety 
and cheerfulness associated with life in Paris at a time 
of which Talleyrand said, ' Celui qui na pas vecu alors, 

ria pas connu le plaisir de vivre ' ; there is much, on 



the contrary, of the spirit of unrest and discontent of 
the time. The graver comments, indeed, contained 
in this diary show how fully alive the writer was to 
the desperate character of the situation, the following 
for instance : 

' Ce qui caracteVise la monarchic c'est le relachement 
universel. II n'y a ni regie, ni loi, ni discipline. Avec 
du credit, de Tautorite, et de Targent, tout est impuni ; 
chacun fait ce qu'il veut. Meme esprit dans les mceurs 
domestiques, femmes, enfants.' 

The monarchy was ill served by its agents ; the de- 
spatches of the ambassadors were generally very badly 
drawn up, essential facts being omitted, and sometimes 
even dates and familiar and proper names mistaken. 
Ministers were equally incapable. Mdlle de Luxem- 
bourg, for instance, observed of a new Minister of 
Marine : ' Oh je suissur quilreussira; cest lepluschar- 
mant mediocrite\ With this went uncertainty, feeble- 
ness, and incapacity in political action. The news one 
day dictated a line of policy, an incident the next day 
caused it to be changed. The terrible irony of the whole 
situation was that reform seemed easily within the grasp 
of the nation. The Government opposed no obstacle ; the 
court had made every step in advance, the people none. 
The assembly of the Notables, the publication of the 
financial situation, the promise of the power of the 
purse to the States General had all originated with the 
court ' par paternite politique fort stupide, par embarras, 
par ignorance'. But the people demoralised 1 by a 
century of despotic maladministration were incapable of 

1 " En France comme en Russie on permet aux esclaves d'avoir 
des vices, et on leur donne la licence centre la libert qu'on leur ote." 


seizing the opportunity, and Mallet du Pan had early 
formed the opinion, which events too fully confirmed, 
that their national character unfitted the French for 
free institutions. 

"They are incapable of cool deliberation, and there- 
fore of free government, in which every man should 
discuss with weight and moderation . . . they act 
always from sentiment, never from reflexion. Their 
vanity, always exercised by the monarchical spirit, 
would destroy a republic in which the spirit of equality 
should reign." 

This is not the place in which to follow the increase 
of the enormous deficit which led directly to the sum- 
moning of the States General and the steps by which 
the reign of Louis XVI. advanced, through a succes- 
sion of incapable ministers and from one coup cTEtat to 
another, towards the final crisis. The painful interest 
of the writer and his absorption in the spectacle which 
was being unfolded before his eyes become more 
marked with each succeeding month, and he gives 
striking pictures of the anarchy and disorder beginning 
to prevail in the streets. During the autumn of 1788, 
when Lom^nie de Brienne was at issue with the 
Parlement and rioting was beginning in Paris, he 
wrote : 

" The national character and that of Paris is well 
seen at the present moment. Foolish bluster of all 
sorts ; neither reason, moderation, nor method ; re- 
bellion in words, and not a soul who does not stand in 
awe of a corporal. It enters no one's head to reason 
on the political consequences of taxation, on the means 
of recovering some measure of political liberty. It is 
the taxes themselves, and not the right of levying 
them, that people think about. They wish for legal 


resistance without considering that neither the nation 
as a whole nor any constituted authority have any 
political right of opposition, and that one step further 
will land them in revolt, which, however, they refuse 
to contemplate." 

The spirit described was one which boded ill for 
the impending task of regeneration and reform. As 
regards Mallet du Pan himself, enough has been said 
to show that he at least faced the convulsion which 
was to bring him fame at the cost of all that makes 
fame worth having in no mood of levity or partisan- 
ship, but, on the contrary, better equipped by study 
and experience than almost any of his contemporaries. 
In M. Taine's words : 

" In 1789 Mallet du Pan, at the age of forty, had 
already passed twenty years in political education. 
He had, all his life, reflected on affairs of State. From 
his earliest youth he had deeply studied history, inter- 
national law, and political economy, not as a mere 
student or amateur, but as an original thinker and 
independent critic. Manners, Governments, and Con- 
stitutions had been the subject of his close personal 
observation, for he had lived or travelled in Switzer- 
land, France, Germany, England, and the Low 
Countries. ... In the political troubles of his own 
country, he had been able to gauge the conditions of 
liberty, its benefits and its dangers ; ... he had been, 
moreover, not merely a spectator, but an actor. . . . 
In 1789 he knew, in short, not only France, but 




THE assembly of the States-General was the signal 
for an extraordinary outburst of journalistic enterprise. 
During the previous ten or fifteen years, as we have 
seen, there had been a literary eruption of no small 
dimensions, with which the Government had endea- 
voured to cope partly by proscription and partly by 
bribes. Then came a flood of pamphlets, ' Merits violents, 
bizarres, anarchiques^ in which the questions of the day 
were feverishly discussed ; but the States-General had 
hardly met before a crowd of new papers appeared as 
if by enchantment, led by Brissot with his Patriote 
Fran$ais, and by Mirabeau with his A tats Ge'ne'ra-ux, his 
Lettres & ses Commettants, and finally with the famous 
Courier de Provence, an advance guard which soon 
forced the barrier of the censorship and established the 
liberty or licence of the press. 

From May 1789 to May 1793, "from the dawn of 
freedom to the night of the Terror," says Hatin, " no 
less than one thousand papers or writings in journalistic 
form saw the light, and it is impossible to exaggerate 
their influence in spreading the new doctrines through- 
out the country ". 


Among this mass of new papers, monthly, weekly 
and daily, royalist and popular, which proclaimed truth 
or disseminated poison, the Mercure under Mallet du 
Pan, described by Mirabeau himself as ' le plus habile 
et le plus r&pandu des journauxj stands alone and 
apart, representing with a consistency, courage and 
force which grew with each month of its three years' 
existence the opinions of the smallest, the wisest, and 
the most unpopular of the parties of the Assembly. 
It was not however till after the fall of the Bastille, 
when the censorship was formally abolished, that any 
political comment appeared in its pages. Mallet du 
Pan was one of the few observers who approached the 
consideration of the Revolution armed with experience 
and knowledge but without the prepossession of party 
or system. One conviction indeed he had formed, a 
belief in a " mixed " system of government in which 
monarchy and aristocracy were tempered by popular 
representation; and it is characteristic that his contri- 
bution to the controversies preceding the opening of 
the States-General was an attempt, by publishing a 
series of articles on Delolme's account of the British 
Constitution, to explain and popularise such a system, 
and to combat the prejudice that liberty was to be 
found only in pure democracy. His warnings were 
soon justified. Both in the theory and the practice 
of parliamentary government France had everything 
to learn from England. The tedious discussions on 
the Rights of Man and the constant appeal to the 
teachings of Rousseau drew from Mallet du Pan 
a demonstration of the incompatibility of that 
great writer's ideas with the very existence of the 
Assembly : 


" The English people," said Rousseau, " think they 
are free, but they are much mistaken. They are free 
only during the election of the members of Parliament ; 
once elected they are slaves, they are nothing. The 
absurd idea of representation is modern, and descends to 
us from the iniquitous days of feudal government." 
"Rousseau," adds Mallet, "judged Englishmen slaves 
because their government is representative ; therefore 
every represented population must likewise be slaves. 
The authority of Rousseau is thus inadmissible in an 
assembly of delegates of the people. That celebrated 
writer persisted to the end of his life in his aversion 
to representative government, and wrote that he saw 
no mean between the most austere democracy and the 
most complete Hobbism." 

Mallet du Pan often returned to the political 
result of Rousseau's doctrine of the Volonte Gdndrale 
on the progress of the Revolution. He showed, for 
instance (in September 1791), how the attribution of 
effective sovereignty to the people with constitutional 
powers dependent solely on their will had produced 
an irresistible democratic influence side by side with 
the representative regime. He contrasted with this the 
wisdom of the English principle by which, since the days 
of the Long Parliament, the sovereignty was held to 
reside in Parliament consisting of the King and the two 
Houses, the people retaining only the choice of their re- 
presentatives. The difference between the two theories 
was fundamental, as Mallet was never tired of insisting, 
and by it alone, as he was perhaps the first to perceive, 
can the course which the Revolution took be explained. 

The conduct of business in the Assembly was a 
point equally inviting appeal to English experience. 
Mirabeau, scandalised by the anarchy of its proceedings, 


had laid on the table a code which had been furnished 
to him by Romilly embodying the practice of the 
British Parliament, and Mallet du Pan in the Mercure 
frequently drew attention to such points as the proper 
function of parliamentary committees, and the authority 
of the Speaker. What chance such representations 
had of attention may be gathered from Dumont's ob- 
servation that when Brissot spoke of the constitution, 
his constant phrase was ' Voila ce qui a perdu Angle- 
terre ! ' and that Sieves, Duport, Condorcet, Garat and 
others had exactly the same prejudices against English 
example. 'Nous ne somntes pas Anglais, et nous 
riavons pas besoin des Anglais ' was the feeling of most 
Frenchmen. Naturally therefore Mallet du Pan was 
soon out of court as an anglo-maniac. But though 
he believed with the wisest political heads in France, 
with Mounier, Malouet, Lally-Tollendal, and Mirabeau 
himself, that the only hope for the country lay in the 
endeavour to reconcile representative institutions with 
a strong 1 monarchy, he was as far as possible from 
being a doctrinaire. In 1789 he wrote that it would 
be as foolish to try and grow sugar canes in Siberia 
as to transplant the British Constitution, the growth of 
six centuries, to France. He fully recognised, as he 
said later when accused of fanatical admiration for the 
British Constitution and the two chamber system, that 
the materials for a House of Peers did not exist in 
France, and he only discussed it for an instant on the 
extinction of the three orders as an alternative to a 
single chamber. " Whether two chambers, or three, 
or a hundred, secured the benefits which all France 

1 " The state of France," observed Gouverneur Morris, " requires 
a higher-toned government than that of England." 


desired mattered little." Finally he had, as we have 
seen, been deeply impressed by the levity and ignor- 
ance of the people, the outcome of a despotic system, 
by "the utter prostration of morals," as Gouverneur 
Morris expressed it, "upon which crumbling matter 
the great edifice of freedom was to be erected ; " and 
some years later, in his Considerations, he stated that 
long before 1789 he had become convinced that 
France would be unable to bear political liberty 
without thirty years of preliminary training. 

Such then were the misgivings he entertained, 
but it is certain that he was surprised and favourably 
impressed by the energy and seriousness of the Tiers 
etat, and by the universal desire for a Constitution. 
No one, he said, desired in a more ardent and dis- 
interested spirit than himself the success of the noble 
enterprise in which King and people seemed to be 
united. Sanguine and enthusiastic he was not, but 
the role of Cassandra was far from being natural or 
congenial to one of his vigorously combative nature, 
and it was in no spirit of mere critical aloofness that he 
prepared to take his share in the work of regeneration 
the necessity of which no one saw more clearly than 
himself, or that he witnessed the gradual fulfilment of 
his forebodings. He set himself at once to take ad- 
vantage of the enfranchisement of political journalism 
by organising the Mercure on a new basis. Again he 
described his conception of his duty as historian-jour- 
nalist or "pioneer historian". Fact disentangled from 
verbiage was, he thought, what history would one day 
consult and what the public required, and he disclaimed 
the pretension of supplying opinions which every citizen 
should form for himself. He never, indeed, confined 


the function of the journalist or the historian to simply 
recording what he had seen or heard. As time went 
on and he found he had expected too much of the 
public, he refrained less and less from the energetic 
expression of his own opinions ; but in the early days 
his comments were both sparse and brief, and he trusted 
mainly to the eloquence of the facts, documents and 
proofs with which he filled his pages. A great feature 
of the Mercure, not found elsewhere, is the attention 
paid to events and opinions in the provinces where it 
was very widely circulated. From 1 789, says M. Taine 
who quoted freely from them, some hundreds of letters 
written on the spot, signed, dated, verified, gave Mallet 
regular information on the disturbances in the provinces. 
In 1791 and 1792 there were forwarded to him resumes 
and extracts, reports of the local administrations, manu- 
script accounts of the various jacqueries, details and 
figures and authentic documents now to be found in 
the National Archives. 

But his analysis of the debates of the two Assemblies 
upon which the attention of Europe was concentrated for 
the next three years was the work which gave its celebrity 
to the Mercure, and was the real foundation of its author's 
reputation. Mallet did not, indeed, give detailed reports 
on every occasion such as those by which Maret, the 
future Due de Bassano, first made a name in \heMoniteur, 
nor, on the other hand, fanciful or rhetorical descriptions 
such as those which Garat confesses to have supplied to 
the Journal de Paris. But he regularly attended the 
sittings of the Constituent and Legislative Assemblies 
and composed the analysis of the debates, reporting at 
length what he thought useful or necessary and in all 
cases bringing out the salient points of the discussion. 


He prided himself, as we know, on the amplitude, the 
impartiality, and the exactness of this analysis. "It was 
read throughout Europe," says Lally-Tollendal, "as 
a model of luminous and impartial discussion." "In 
it," reports another contemporary, Gentz, the Prussian 
publicist, "is to be found the character of the Revolu- 
tion painted in colours more faithful and more living 
than those employed by any other writer of the time." 
" He was the only writer," says Sainte-Beuve, " whose 
analysis of these great debates was free from either 
insult or flattery." "His reports," says Taine, " are the 
only ones which are at once truthful and intelligent." 

The success of the paper was immediate. It offered, 
as Chateaubriand has remarked, a singular contrast, that 
of being violently revolutionary in the literary portion 
and energetically conservative in the political ; but the 
latter portion was of so much the greater interest that 
it was not long before it encroached on the space re- 
served for literature and absorbed half of it. 

Much had already happened to fill with sombre 
anticipations a man of its editor's temper ; the disastrous 
struggle which caused dissension of evil omen for the 
future and ended in the establishment of the National 
Assembly, the intrigues of the Queen and the Comte 
d'Artois which had led to the dismissal of Necker, his 
triumphant return, and the incidents connected with the 
fall of the Bastille. By the end of July Gouverneur 
Morris, the American Minister, whom Taine classes with 
Rivarol, Malouet and Mallet du Pan as one of the four 
most competent observers of the Revolution, remarked 
that France was as near anarchy as a society could 
be without dissolution, and deplored that the National 
Assembly had "all that romantic spirit and those ro- 


mantic ideas of government which, happily for America, 
we were cured of before it was too late ". 

It was not until August, however, that the battle 
upon which the course of the Revolution turned was 
seriously joined, and that the great discussion on the 
reports of the Constitutional Committee brought face 
to face the champions of constitutional reform on the 
English pattern and the partisans of more revolutionary 
measures. At this time the liberal Royalists, Mounier, 
the proposer of the oath of the tennis court, and his 
allies Lally-Tollendal, Bergasse, Clermont-Tonnerre, 
and Virieu were enjoying their short moment of favour 
in the Assembly, and Malouet, the sanest and most 
courageous of them all, had endeavoured to organise 
a moderate party comprising the majority of the 
Constitutional Committee, two ministers (the Arch- 
bishop of Bordeaux and the Comte de Saint-Priest), and 
a number of moderate members, probably the majority 
of the whole assembly, headed by the Bishop- Duke of 
Langres. During August and September this party 
held its own against the enterprises of the democrats 
and of the two first orders ; for at a time when " con- 
cord would have saved them all and France with them " 
the whole of the nobility and part of the clergy repudi- 
ated all association with the moderate reformers. For 
these two months Mallet du Pan, who saw in their 
efforts the only hope of safety, supported their cause 
and supplemented their arguments in the Mercure. But 
their fate was already sealed when the recommendations 
of the majority of the Constitutional Committee in favour 
of the royal veto, of the double chamber system, and 
of the power of dissolution by the King were rejected 
in favour of a Declaration of Rights on the American 


model, with its various articles including the suspensive 
veto, the single chamber, and the permanence of the 
Assembly. The scheme which had, in accordance with 
the demand of the great majority of the cakiers, been 
elaborated by the most capable and experienced political 
students in France was never even discussed as a whole, 
and Mallet du Pan vigourously condemned the conduct 
of an Assembly which singled out one or two leading 
points, and by rejecting them destroyed the cohesion of 
the various parts without which a "constitution would 
be a monstrosity ". The power of the veto was at 
once seen to be fundamental, and Mallet was not ex- 
aggerating when he wrote before its discussion : "It is 
impossible to regard without terror the questions raised 
this week in the Assembly, upon the decision of which 
will probably depend the tendency of the new legislation, 
the confirmation or the loss of liberty, public security 
within and without, and the authority necessary to a 
great monarchy ". The inactivity and moral cowardice 
of some, and the calculated opposition of others of the 
royalist majority, who imagined that the very extra- 
vagance of the innovations would work its own cure 
and bring about a restoration of the old order, and 
who, by their dishonest action in their alliance with the 
revolutionary party, set an example only too faithfully 
followed by the extreme right all through subsequent 
French history ; finally the feeble and opportunist sup- 
port by Necker of the suspensive veto, decided the 
issue ; and with the veto the rest of the constitutional 
proposals fell to the ground. One last chance remained, 
and on the 29th September Malouet, the Bishop of 
Langres and Redon were deputed by a large number 
of deputies to endeavour to persuade the King to re- 


move with the majority of the Assembly to some place 
such as Soissons or Compiegne at a distance from Paris ; 
the first of many such proposals which might have 
saved the monarchy, but the execution of which became 
increasingly difficult and the success more problemat- 
ical. They repaired to Versailles, and Montmorin and 
Necker pressed the proposal upon the King who, 
fatigued with a day's hunting, went to sleep during 
the council and only awoke to put an end to the dis- 
cussions with a simple ' Non I ' * The popular party, 
alarmed at the action of the moderates who had been 
at too little pains to conciliate them, retaliated by the 
outrages of the days of October and the removal of the 
Court and the Assembly to Paris. Mounier, who had 
narrowly escaped with his life, Lally-Tollendal, and the 
Bishop of Langres were the most distinguished of some 
twenty members of the party who completed its dis- 
comfiture by their resignation and flight. " Paris," 
wrote Mallet, " would have stoned them, history will 
avenge them ! " 

Speculation has exhausted itself over the question 
whether Mirabeau's last desperate plan of counter- 
revolution might or might not have saved France and 
Europe from the reign of Terror. Surely here, in the 
earlier and worthier period of the Revolution, is a far 
more inviting subject for conjectural history, if only 
because the very possible success of the early Consti- 
tutionalists, whom a superficial judgment dismisses as 
almost unworthy of notice, as a set of pedants and 
anglo-maniacs, would certainly have prevented the 
whole series of catastrophes which culminated in 

1 The story is given in the memoirs both of Malouet and Mallet 
du Pan. 


foreign and civil war. The party of liberal reform is 
perhaps the only one during the whole course of the 
Revolution which deserved the description of states- 
manlike, for of this party alone can it be said that 
reform upon the principles advocated by its members 
might have averted revolution by founding a strong 
and durable polity. Fail, indeed, they did, but failure 
they shared with every other party which survived and 
succeeded them. And it is a hard fate which caused 
them not only to be hated at the time for their mod- 
eration and foresight both by Royalists and by Re- 
publicans, but to lose the place in history which the 
fascination of horror has obtained for factions even 
more fleeting than themselves. 

To enter into the causes of their failure would be 
beyond the province of this volume ; for it would be 
to discuss the course of the Revolution itself. 1 But 
both Mallet du Pan and Malouet dwelt on one or two 
reasons which go far to explain the ineffectiveness of 
the action of this great parliamentary party. One was 
the timidity and want of moral courage among French- 
men of all classes and parties which is perhaps the 
most striking characteristic of the revolutionary era, 
and which is inexplicable until the paralysing effect of 
the collapse of all lawful authority among a people 

1 The suddenness of the collapse of the monarchy shows how true 
was the insight which led Mallet du Pan to say, in speaking of the 
various causes assigned for the French Revolution, the quarrel of the 
Parliaments, the Assembly of the Notables, the deficit, the ministry of 
Necker, the assaults of philosophy : " None of these things would 
have happened under a monarchy which was not rotten at the core." 
The moment, in fact, had arrived, inevitable in every despotism, when 
an incapable ruler was called upon to grapple with a demoralised 


demoralised by despotism is appreciated. The reign 
of Terror began in men's minds with the fall of the 
Bastille. The ' Tais-toi mauvais citoyen ! ' roared at 
Malouet in the Assembly struck the keynote of alarm 
which enfeebled the moderate parties ; it showed itself 
also among the Parisians afraid of the court and the 
army, among the country people afraid of brigandage, 
among quiet citizens everywhere afraid of violence, 
and its most fatal fruit was the emigration of the 
natural leaders of society throughout France, which 
Mallet from the outset stigmatised as an unfortunate 
political blunder. Hardly less significant was the in- 
experience in the working of parliamentary institutions 
already referred to. Such institutions depend for suc- 
cess on the nicest balance of forces, and on moral and 
traditional qualities only to be acquired by generations 
of practice ; on ideas of party cohesion totally wanting 
in an assembly of men, thrown together without pre- 
vious acquaintance with each other, divided by class 
prejudices and by fundamental differences of opinion, 
and totally devoid of that wholesome indifference to 
logic and consistency characteristic of English poli- 
ticians. Malouet reproached himself, and his words 
threw a flood of light not only on the history of the 
Constituent Assembly but on all subsequent parliamen- 
tary history in France, 1 for the exclusiveness which 

1 " Je ne veux pas dissimuler ici combien cette faute de ma part 
(his break with Mirabeau) est inexcusable, ainsi que celle que j'ai 
commise pendant toute la dure'e de notre Assemble, de rompre ou 
d'eViter toute communication avec plusieurs membres influents du 
parti populaire, que j'ai reconnus dans plusieurs circonstances beau- 
coup plus sages que les opinions auxquelles il se laissaient entrainer " 
(M'emoires de Malouet, L, 281). 


had kept him apart from many with whom he might 
have acted for the common advantage. The process 
of disintegration could only have been checked by 
some commanding personality, but of real leadership 
there was none. 

Mirabeau alone could have led the party, but 
Mirabeau was impossible. The greatest figure of 
the Revolution except Bonaparte, he united genius 
and patriotism with degrading faults of character. 
His own cry of regret, perhaps the most pathetic 
ever uttered by a public man, is the explanation of 
the contradiction of his life ' Combien F immoralite de 
ma jeunesse fait de tort a la chose publique '. The 
invincible repugnance of the world was shown by the 
fact, noted by Morris, that he was received with hisses 
at the opening of the States-General. His past made 
him enter on the great struggle not as a philosopher 
or a statesman, but as a malcontent and a declasse. 
His pecuniary embarrassments destroyed his personal 
independence and sold him, in the words of his 
enemies, to the Court. His personal ambition, his 
want of temper, his necessity for self-assertion, his 
" insatiate thirst for applause," led the great orator 
to endeavour to maintain his ascendency by thundering 
against the enemies of the Revolution and inflaming 
popular passion, while he was secretly working for 
the cause of the monarchy. And not in secret only. 
He clearly saw that the annihilation of the executive 
power, the paralysis of administration, would deliver 
over his country to the violence of foreign enemies 
and to the worse misfortune of anarchy at home. He 
turned to the monarchy as the only anchor of safety. 
He considered that to restore to the king power at 



least equal to that nominally exercised by the King 
of England was the only way to avert disaster. His 
opposition to the declaration of rights, his abstention 
from the work of the abolition of feudalism on the day 
of the 4th of August, his contention for investing 
the King with the right of peace and war, and with an 
absolute veto without which he would " rather live 
in Constantinople than in Paris " ; above all, his effort 
to induce the Assembly to give a seat in their body to 
the ministers of the Crown, the constitutional pivot on 
which the fortunes of the Revolution may be said 
to have turned ; these were all public actions which 
might have won for him, not only the confidence of the 
King and Queen, but also the support of moderate men 
of all parties. In such a union, under such leadership, 
lay the only hope, and with the presumption of genius 
he felt and proclaimed that he was the only man who 
could reconcile the monarchy with freedom. Yet 
Morris only echoed the sentiment of the best men 
of his time when he said, " that there were in the 
world men who were to be employed but not trusted," 
"that virtue must ever be sullied by an alliance with 
vice," "that Mirabeau was the most unprincipled 
scoundrel that ever lived". 

I have dwelt at some length on the efforts and 
plans, the hopes and the failures of the liberal royalist 
party, because Mallet du Pan's adherence to it is the 
keynote of his political action from first to last. Almost 
at once it threw him athwart the main current of the 
Revolution, and made him the mark of persecution at 
the hands, not only of the advanced factions, but of 
the pure Royalists with whom his relations were of the 
most uneasy description all through his career. For 


the moment, however, it was the popular party who 
attacked him. 

"It was no doubt," writes his son, "a great relief 
to be freed from the galling yoke of the censorship ; 
but although the tribunal of opinion which succeeded 
did not exercise its control either in a manner so 
puerile or so direct, it was not less despotic ; and in 
some respects much more fearful. Public opinion had 
become all in all ; and it did not bear sway with a 
gentle hand. The popular party, who then prevailed, 
were in the greatest degree impatient of contradiction, 
and even discussion, in matters of government ; and 
my father, not being disposed to run along with the 
full tide that was setting in, soon became an object 
of active suspicion, and was denounced in the clubs 
as an aristocrat, and a friend of the old Regime. On 
the other hand, the moderate party in the Assembly 
eagerly availed themselves of the influence of a publica- 
tion conducted by a man of talent and independence, 
and of which the circulation was more extensive than 
that of almost any other political work, upwards of 
12,000 copies of the political part of the Mercure, 
consisting of three and a half sheets, being sold weekly. 
The court and the ministers likewise caused frequent 
communications to be made to my father, through 
persons attached to them, with a view of correcting 
erroneous opinions and misstatements of facts, pro- 
ceeding from the Tribune, the clubs or the press. 
Numberless letters were addressed to him from the 
provinces, either with a view to publication or from 
individuals menaced and oppressed by the popular 
party, who requested him to vindicate their conduct, 
and solicited his opinion as to the course they were 
to pursue. Among these were many nobles, who 
asked his advice as to the expediency of emigrating." 

Room may here be found for some further recollec- 


tions of Mallet's son, who had returned in August, 1789, 
from his school in England, and has recorded his impres- 
sions of the time, the impressions of a boy of fourteen. 

" I remained the ensuing autumn and winter with 
my family ; and soon after my arrival went to see the 
remains of the Bastille, then crowded from morning 
to night with visitors, exulting over its ruins. I also 
well remember the 5th of October and the scenes that 
ensued ; the crowds of people returning from Versailles 
in a state of frightful excitement ; the Poissardes 
parading the streets in their red cottons and white 
caps, with large nosegays in their breasts, asking 
money at all the respectable houses with an air and 
tone that would have made it very unsafe to hesitate 
in complying with their demands. I also remember 
the queues, as they were called, at the bakers' shops. 
For although the French Government makes it a 
special object of administration, in times of scarcity, 
to provide at any cost for the supply of Paris, the 
bakers' shops are fearfully crowded, and the deliveries 
of bread a long and tedious process. These shops, be 
it observed, are all protected by heavy iron bars in front. 
As early as three o'clock in the morning people began to 
secure their places, and the crowds gradually increased 
till the-street in front of the shop was filled. Then the 
pushing and scrambling and screaming when the loaves 
came out was truly frightful ; and this every day ! " 

The following passages give us almost the only 
glimpse into the actual life of the writer during these 
stirring times which we possess : 

"An Italian Opera had been established at Paris 
in a small theatre not far from our home where the 
agreeable compositions of Paesiello and Cimarosa were 
heard in great perfection. It was seldom crowded, and 
my father, who delighted in Italian music and found it 
a more complete relief from his occupations than either 


society or the play, often went there, and not unfre- 
quently took us with him. 

" Mounier, Malouet, Clermont-Tonnerre, the minis- 
ter Montmorin, and Vicq d'Azyr, the Queen's physician, 
were some of the principal persons with whom my 
father was in habitual communication at Paris, and 
I had acquired enough of English sentiments and 
opinions to attend with great eagerness and interest 
to the animated discussions which took place at our 
house. After the removal of the Assembly to Paris, 
the deputies with whom he was acquainted often came 
late in the evening to talk over the day's debate ; and 
the apartment in which I slept having a door opening 
into the drawing-room, I was allowed as a great favour 
to keep it ajar, and used to sit up in bed till a very late 
hour, with my ears stretched to the utmost, catching 
what I could of the animated conversation in the 
drawing-room. I remember on one occasion Malouet 
coming in very much agitated : he had been assailed 
and insulted by the populace, in consequence of some 
opinion he had expressed and had exhibited a pair of 
pistols which he always carried in his waistcoat pockets. 
The government of Paris, and indeed of the whole 
country, had not then been transferred to the sections 
and the clubs ; and I did not therefore witness any 
of those visits to which my father was frequently 
subjected at a later period from the patriots, who 
figured in the scenes of the loth of August and the 
2nd of September, 1792."* 

During the discussions on the veto, however, four 
ruffians had called on Mallet du Pan threatening him 
with their pistols and telling him that he should 
answer with his life for anything he wrote in support 
of Mounier's opinions. His answer had been an 

1 Reminiscences. 


article again vigorously defending these conclusions. 
Fresh denunciations and visits followed upon the faith- 
ful account which he alone had ventured to give of 
the outrages of the 5th and 6th of October. But he 
never until a much later date mentioned these occur- 
rences in the Mercure, though he signalised the growing 
spirit of persecution by the phrase : " It is with sword 
or rope in hand that public opinion now issues its de- 
crees. Believe or Perish, is the anathema pronounced 
by the enthusiasts, pronounced in the name of freedom ". 

The flight of Mounier, Lally-Tollendal and others 
of the liberal royalist party after the days of October, 
though explicable enough without an imputation of 
personal cowardice, was none the less the mistake which 
parliamentary secessions have usually been found to be. 
It merely weakened the moderate opposition, without 
rallying public opinion as the retirement of the whole 
royalist majority of the Assembly might conceivably 
have done. " MM. de Clermont-Tonnerre, 1 Mallet du 
Pan and I," writes Malouet, "alone remained en 
Evidence" and upon Malouet in the Assembly, as upon 
Mallet in the press, fell the labour of representing the 
opinions of those deputies who continued to steer a 
steady course between revolutionary excess and royalist 
exaggeration, and who had hoped for the establishment 
of a well-balanced constitutional monarchy. 

The break-up of the liberal royalist party and the 
growing cleavage of opinion had now, however, trans- 
ferred to more extreme hands the real leadership of 
the opposition to revolutionary ideas and methods, and 
during the next eighteen months two clearly defined 

1 Comte de Clermont Tonnerre, assassinated on the xoth of 
August 1792. 


parties played a considerable part in the Assembly, 
that of the Left, not yet educated up to the level of 
the extremists, led by Duport, Charles de Lameth and 
Barnave, the latter one of the most interesting and at- 
tractive figures of the early Revolution ; l and the Right 
led by three remarkable orators. One of these was the 
Abbe" Maury, the shoemaker's son, whose eloquence had 
already won him a seat in the Academy ; whose splendid 
defence of the clergy against Talleyrand was to gain 
for him in 1794 the great object of his wishes, the 
cardinal's hat ; whose restless ambition was to lead him 
first to abandon the royalist cause for Napoleon, and 
then to abandon Napoleon only to find a miserable 
end in the papal prisons in 1817. He had courage, 
physical vigour, and a talent for improvisation so re- 
markable as to make him a serious rival to Mirabeau 
himself, but he never succeeded in inspiring a belief 
in his sincerity equal to the gratitude evoked for his real 
services. Cazales, a young officer despised by the nobles 
for the insignificance of his family, was eloquent but 
indolent, and the Comte de Montlosier, 2 one of Mallet's 
most constant friends, was a man of great ability and 
of elevated character, but of a somewhat mystic turn of 
mind, and well described as one ' qui aimait la sagesse 

1 Mallet du Pan tells how at the meeting of the States General 
Barnave sought out Gouverneur Morris at a club and descanted to 
him for an hour on liberty, and ended by asking him what he thought 
of these principles. " ' Je pense, Monsieur,' repondit froidement Mr. 
Morris, ' que vous etes beaucoup plus republicain que moi.' " 

2 He is remembered for his magnificent apostrophe to the assailants 
of the bishops. " Vous les chasserez de leurs palais, ils se refugieront 
dans les chaumieres ; vous les oterez leurs croix d'or, ils en prendront 
une de bois ; et souvenez-vous que c'est une croix de bois qui a sauve" 
le monde ! " 


avec folie et la moderation avec transport '. None of 
these, however, even with the assistance of Malouet, 
more of an official and administrator than a parliamen- 
tary statesman, were the men to lead a successful con- 
servative resistance, though they had the melancholy 
satisfaction of seeing many of those who successively 
occupied the position of public favourites recognise their 
wisdom and endeavour too late to follow in their foot- 

Though supporting in most cases these royalist 
leaders in the Assembly, it was with Malouet that 
Mallet du Pan formed the closest ties of personal and 
political friendship and sympathy. Driven more and 
more into the position of simple defenders of the 
monarchy, 1 it was not until after the ruin of their 
cause in France and the execution of Louis XVI., for 
whom they both felt strong personal loyalty and who 
himself sympathised with their political attitude, that 
they recovered their full freedom of action and found 
occasion, as we shall see, to insist afresh on the neces- 
sity for liberalising monarchical ideas. 

Meanwhile Mallet du Pan maintained a tone of 
studied moderation and restraint in his comments. 
He loyally accepted as the decision of the nation 
the defeat of the constitutional principles which he had 
advocated. " The principles of the Revolution," he 

1 On this as on so many points Gouverneur Morris expressed the 
same idea as Mallet and almost in the same words : " A Republican 
and first as it were emerged from that Assembly which has formed 
one of the most republican of all republican institutions I preach 
incessantly respect for the Prince, attention to the rights of the 
nobility, and moderation not only in the object but also in the 
pursuit of it ". Morris, it will be remembered, was one of the dis- 
tinguished men who framed the Constitution of the United States. 


wrote in December 1789, * "have become the law of 
the land. They were imperiously demanded by the 
abuses of every kind under which France had groaned 
since the reign of Louis XIV. To attempt to oppose 
the new order of government by schemes of active 
resistance, by chimerical ideas of counter-revolution, 
would be an act of madness." He advocated the 
taking of the oath to the constitution the serment 
civique on the ground that no individual had the 
right to oppose his own will to that of the Assembly 
legally declared with the sanction of the King ; and he 
remarked on the danger, " in our present terrible 
situation," of giving any pretext for excess or persecu- 
tion by the least violation of the law. Such sentiments 
as these were highly distasteful to the champions of 
the old r&gime? while the popular party could not 
forgive Mallet's efforts to shake their complacency or 
disturb their optimism by his too faithful accounts of 
intolerance in the Assembly and of growing anarchy in 
the country. He was thus exposed to violent and scur- 

1 Mercure, 2nd January 1790. 

2 Their newspapers conducted an opposition of ridicule and 
epigram, rather than of serious criticism. The Ami du Roi, Petit 
Gaultier, Actes des Apotres, were often, as has been said, unreadable 
from their obscenity when not from their dulness. Their chief con- 
tributors were Peltier a mere mercenary, and Rivarol, Champcemetz 
and Mirabeau-Tonneau : Bergasse, Laraguais and Montlosier con- 
tributed serious articles to the Actes des Apotres. Mallet du Pan's notion 
of the dignity of journalism differed considerably from that of these 
Royalist and Revolutionary francs-tireurs. " La meilleure sauvegarde 
de la liber t de la presse, le plus efficace preservatif de son dereglement, 
c'est la morale des auteurs, non celle dont on parle ou quon imprime, mat's 
celle que Fon pratique ; le respect religieux de la liberte", Fhonneur, 
f habitude de la d&ence, et cette terreur utile qui devroit saisir tout homme 
de Men lorsque sa plume va afficher une accusation ou repandre un systeme." 


rilous attacks from both the parties which for different 
reasons were interested in perpetuating the anarchy of 
so-called popular rule. This double resentment he 
steadily faced, maintaining on the one hand that the 
exaggeration of democratic principles was turning into 
a simulacrum the throne which alone could maintain a 
great empire in freedom, peace and order, and on the 
other that a return to absolute monarchy would only 
end by replunging the country into its actual condition, 
a condition into which it was the most terrible reproach 
against the monarchy to have brought France. 

"No one," he asserted, "had had more reason to 
welcome the advent of liberty than one brought up in 
its teachings, who had all his life detested absolute 
monarchy. But to love liberty a man must have 
enjoyed it, to recognise it amid the artifices of am- 
bition and the illusions of theory he must have wit- 
nessed its excesses as well as its benefits, to discern 
its limits he must have learnt by experience the 
dangers into which a state, imprudent enough to 
force the barriers which law, justice and wisdom in- 
terpose between the power of a people and its obedi- 
ence, may run." He therefore declined to drift with 
the popular current, observing ' Ce n'est pas a quarante 
ans qu'un republicain sage, qui en a traine vingt dans 
les tempetes politiques, se rendra le complice des 
fureurs de qui que ce soit '. * 

He persisted on the contrary in his tdche accablante, 
that of publishing the debates at which he assisted and 
the facts which reached him and which he carefully 
verified, and of so endeavouring to create a public 
conscience as to the "cowardly war" which was being 

1 Mercure, 23rd January 1790. 


waged on persons and property. His reward was to 
see himself daily misrepresented and defamed, while 
the most criminal papers remained unpunished. ' ' While 
they are permitted to preach, I may not denounce 
murder and incendiarism." 

" In the spring of 1790," writes his son, 2 " my father 
made arrangements to quit Paris for a short time, and 
took me to Geneva, where he had determined to place 
me in the business of his only brother, my uncle Mallet. 
He was received on that occasion by the most distin- 
guished of his countrymen in a very flattering manner, 
which strongly marked the opinion they held of his 
talents and independence as a public writer." 

On his return two months later he gave in the 
Mercure (loth July 1790) the long-promised resume 
of the year, which he had constantly delayed in the 
hope that the Revolution might have run its course. 
" Instead of this," he writes, " we are still suspended 
between anarchy and liberty." His observations show 
that by this time he clearly understood the character of 
the Revolution. He recognised that he was the witness 
of one of those periodical upheavals in which the same 
causes reproduce from time to time the same vicissi- 
tudes, ' triste consolation qui reste seule a une generation 
souffrante '. As a distinction, however, he remarked 
that unlike previous political subversions of which 
the mass of the people had been the victims and not 
the agents, the present convulsion reached down to 
the very roots of society, which had been swept from 
its foundations and which it only now remained to 
attempt to reconstruct. 

1 Mercure, April 1790. 2 Reminiscences. 


And in what circumstances, he asked, was the at- 
tempt to be made? "Among a people corrupted by 
the mean vices engendered by despotism, amid an ex- 
cessive inequality of fortune and still more of education 
and talent, with books which substituted enthusiasm for 
reflection, amid a chaos of morals, rights and systems ! " 

A month later occurs a passage which shows at 
its best the writer's instinctive prescience of coming 
events. The foreign war which was to prove the 
final solvent of the French polity was already casting 
its shadow before, and already Mallet du Pan combats 
its approach. A debate in the Assembly had revealed 
a deep-seated suspicion that the powers of Europe 
were plotting a counter-revolution. After some re- 
marks, of which the history of popular government too 
fully confirms the truth, on the danger of treating foreign 
affairs in public and on the manner in which suspicion 
itself creates the reality of peril, he stated his opinion 
that to imagine a crusade of foreign powers against 
the existing constitution was to look for trouble in the 
wrong direction. 

"The conspirators to be feared," he wrote, "are 
those who by threatening Europe may actually rouse 
her ; they are the preachers of insurrection, the 
scribblers who insult every sovereign, the clubs who 
teach the art of anarchy and public calamity scattering 
their agents through every empire to stir up trouble, 
murder and civil war in the name of philosophy, the 
incendiary sophists who incite the people to destroy all 
authority, to punish the sovereign, and to place des- 
potic power in the hands of the multitude. . . . Such 
are the projects which will force sovereigns into action 
to prevent the ruin of their states ; such are the only 
reasons for alarm." 


The resignation in October of the once idolised 
Necker, the man to whose lot it had fallen to initiate 
the revolution, whose duty it was to guide it, was 
received with general indifference. Mallet refused to 
associate himself with the violent strictures of Cazales 
on the fallen ministry. ' On ne viole pas les tombeaux ' 
he wrote, and he proceeded to trace the self-efface- 
ment of the ministry to the powerlessness to which the 
royal authority had been reduced by the constitution, 
and to argue that it was unjust to reproach Necker 
for not leading an Assembly which refused to be led, 
which at every turn insisted in giving lessons to its 
instructor. The finances could not be re-established 
when anarchy was universal and authority non-exist- 
ent, without credit, taxes, or public confidence. But 
although it was "as unjust to accuse him of the ruin 
of the finances as of the loss of the battle of Ramillies," 
Necker undoubtedly showed himself, as Morris ob- 
served, a very poor financier with his hocus pocus 
of borrowing from the caisse cCescompte, his farce of 
the " patriotic contribution," his feeble handling of the 
question of the assignats. Mallet du Pan admitted 
that "he had innocently provoked almost all the mis- 
fortunes he deplored," that he was the " constant victim 
of illusion," that he was "as inferior to circumstances 
as he was irreproachable in his intentions " ; and he 
remarked on the curious fatality that the only occasion 
on which his advice had been followed was when he 
had declared against the royal veto, although convinced 
by Mounier's arguments. One of his earliest and most 
fatal mistakes had been his haughty reception of Mira- 
beau at the meeting which Malouet had arranged be- 
tween them. Necker had a habit of tilting his head 


upwards and fixing his eyes on the ceiling in moments 
of special embarrassment, so that the angle at which 
he held his head was considered a thermometer of 
the political situation. It was in this attitude that he 
received the suggestion that he should meet Mirabeau, 
and when Mirabeau arrived he coldly asked him what 
proposals he had to make. Mirabeau, scenting insult, 
replied, " My proposal is to wish you Good morning,", 
and left the room ; and going up to Malouet in the 
Assembly angrily ejaculated, ' Votre homme est un sot, 
il aura de mes nouvelles ! ' He faithfully kept his 
promise, and during the months in which Necker 
lingered ineffectively and disastrously on the political 
scene, had no words strong enough to express his con- 
tempt for him as a minister and a financier. 

If Mallet du Pan was too indulgent in his estimate 
of Necker, 1 he must certainly be considered to have 
been harsh and impolitic in his judgment of Mirabeau. 
His treatment indeed of this great man and of the 
only two other men of genius, Danton and Bonaparte, 
produced by the tremendous upheaval of the revolu- 
tionary era, illustrates the limitation of a contemporary 
historian, limitations of which he showed himself con- 
scious when he said ' Rarement voit-on juste les objets 
pendant Forage*. His criticism of Bonaparte, whose 
mission, that of evolving order out of chaos, he at least 
discerned, we shall notice in its place. In Danton, of the 
three the least entitled to the praise of statesmanship, 
destroyer of the old order and creator of an executive 
in its place which in the hands of others brought about 

1 Lady Blennerhassett, however, seems to reckon him among 
Necker's severest critics. He certainly never utters an appreciative, 
hardly a civil, word of Madame de Stael. 


the end of civil government in the awful supremacy 
of the guillotine, Mallet du Pan excusably beheld only 
one of the most ruthless and unscrupulous enemies of 
European social order ; but it is impossible to acquit 
him of blindness to Mirabeau's immense superiority 
among his contemporaries as a champion of the ideas 
which he himself had most at heart. It would be diffi- 
cult to point out in the pages of the Mercure any 
expression of sympathy with Mirabeau's objects, still 
less with his methods. Even the words in which he 
records his death are studiously cold : " It is no ordinary 
man whose memory thus excites a storm of contrary 
opinions and the regrets, not only of his adherents, but 
also of a portion of the minority who founded their 
hopes on the secret views of the great party leader." 
It is unnecessary to seek for the private reasons which 
as we know Mallet du Pan had like so many others 
for distrusting Mirabeau. Even Malouet, who from 
the first appreciated his political genius, never brought 
himself until the closing scenes to co-operate with him, 
though he bitterly reproached himself in later days for 
breaking off his intercourse with him after the failure 
of his first advances. Mallet du Pan was of a more 
uncompromising temper, and he made no attempt to 
overcome the repugnance which Mirabeau's character 
excited in him. Distinctions between the ' grande* 
and the 'petite morale' between public and private 
conduct, only aroused his contempt, and he was too 
straightforward to be able to make allowances for the 
ambiguities which appeared in Mirabeau's political 
conduct. For the great orator never ceased to pursue 
two imcompatible aims, the desire for ministerial place 
and the love of popularity. Mallet du Pan though, as 


we know from his private journal, he was aware of 
Mirabeau's later advances to the Court, was of course 
not acquainted with the masterly series of Notes pub- 
lished a generation later in the correspondence with 
the Comte de la Marck upon which his real title to 
statesmanship depends. It was therefore chiefly from 
Mirabeau's conduct in the Assembly, his democratic 
violence of manner, and his constant appeal to revolu- 
tionary passions, that Mallet who watched and followed 
the debates had to judge of his wisdom as a leader. 

As the leading member of the diplomatic Com- 
mittee and virtual Foreign Minister from July 1790 
till his death, Mirabeau's conduct was marked by real 
wisdom, as, for instance, in the debate (August 25th 
1790) on the observance of the treaty obligations 
incurred by the family compact with Spain, which he 
carried against the more violent party in the Assem- 
bly. Yet his wisdom was, as Mallet notes, disguised 
by ' tirades pour la Galerie' about "liberty realising 
the dreams of philosophy and proclaiming universal 
peace" which were hardly convincing to sober minds. 
Another comment shows how greatly Mirabeau did him- 
self injustice and damaged his credit among thinking 
men by the extravagance of style which he thought 
necessary to maintain his ascendency. It was on the 
proposal the following day (August 26th) to issue two 
milliards of fresh assignats * that Mallet wrote : ' // est 
impossible de precher avec plus de vehemence et mains de 

1 Mallet du Pan knew how systems of currency depend on con- 
fidence. " S'il y a de doute sur le succes des assignats, la cause des 
assignats est perdue. II n'est pas permis de hasarder le sort de ses 
concitoyens, et le devoir des legislateurs est de prendre le moyen 
le plus sur." 


reflexion le projet le phis injuste .../<? plus affreux 
dans ses effets '. As events turned out Mallet's fears 
were justified, yet we know from Mirabeau's twenty- 
first letter to the Court how clearly he recognised the 
dangers of the measures which he advocated as neces- 
sary to avert imminent bankruptcy, and how inevitable 
he thought its failure would be were Necker retained 
in office. His advice was taken and Necker dismissed ; 
but Mirabeau could not even if he had been invested with 
the authority of a minister have directed the financial 
administration together with foreign policy, and the 
desperate expedient, carried out without the safeguards 
which alone could have given it a chance of success, 
failed like all else to stem the tide of revolutionary 
ruin. One more instance is worth giving to show how 
difficult Mirabeau made it for moderate men to work 
with him. On the 2ist of October 1790 he combated 
in a speech of the most sanguinary violence a motion 
by M. de Foucault in favour of the old flag of the 
French monarchy. ' Le cceur tresfroidet Fceilincendie'' 
reports Mallet, he mounted the tribune from which 
he pronounced with studied ferocity a speech " which 
might well have been delivered le poignard a la main" 
and which excited the most frantic applause from the 
galleries of the Assembly. 

It was indeed not until within six weeks of his death 
that Mirabeau made his final choice between the op- 
posing roles of tribune of the people and servant 
of the King. It was during a discussion on one of 
the proposals to forbid emigration and confiscate 
the property of e'migre's, which Mallet compared 
with Nero's order to close the gates of Rome before 
setting fire to it, that Mirabeau declared that he should 


consider himself "released from every oath of fidelity 
to the authors of so infamous a declaration " ; and that 
when interrupted he thundered forth the retort ' Silence 
aux trente Voix ! ' A year later when the galleries had 
usurped the prerogatives of the representatives of the 
nation, when three or four hundred hirelings without 
standing or political existence were disposing of the 
destiny of twenty-five millions of people and hounding 
the country into war, Mallet du Pan pointed out how 
the phalanxes with which the " virtuous " Mirabeau had 
maintained his ascendency were now the oppressors of 
his old associates in the Assembly, "the very men who 
had deified him". If Mirabeau had lived to carry out 
his plan for a counter-revolution, he could only have 
succeeded by provoking civil war. This he had no 
doubt decided to do ; but what was the real chance 
that, with the half support which was all the Queen and 
the Court ever gave to those who would have saved 
them, he could have welded together the conservative 
elements remaining in France ; that he could have se- 
cured the adherence of the provinces, where the great 
mass of public opinion was, down to the close of the 
year 1791 as Mallet du Pan acknowledged, under the 
spell of the Revolution and its most advanced leaders ; 
that civil war would have forestalled and averted the 
foreign war, which was to cause the triumph of the 
Jacobins ? Mallet du Pan at all events did not believe, 
any more than La Marck, in the success of the great 
scheme of which he had been kept informed, and 
writing many years later he expressed the opinion 
that Mirabeau's death had saved him from a more 
tragic end ; and that in all probability, discredited by 
his apostasy, he would have served as a fresh example 


of the ruin which overtakes those who, in a popular 
revolution, draw back from the paths of unreason, per- 
versity and violence. Whatever the arguments may be 
in favour of the possibility of Mirabeau's plan, upon 
which, sullied though it was by financial obligations to 
the Court, much of his fame as a statesman must rest, 
they apply with tenfold force to the efforts of the 
liberal Monarchists of 1789 to guide the Revolution 
into a channel of safety. His return upon himself is 
a signal justification of the foresight and wisdom of 
their views. 

Every month meanwhile made free speech more 
difficult and dangerous. Classed as an aristocrat 
Mallet du Pan had long been the object of atroci- 
ous calumnies, to which his only answer had been to 
continue his work in the lines he had traced out for 
himself. On the 27th of November 1790 he was at last 
moved by a more alarming incident than usual to give 
an account of the various measures of proscription of 
which he had been the victim. A few days before, a 
mob, excited by harangues and writings which desig- 
nated him as a supporter of despotism, gathered in 
front of his house and threatened to treat it like the 
Hotel de Castries. This danger passed, but ten days 
later a deputation of fourteen or fifteen men from the 
patriotic societies of the Palais Royal presented them- 
selves in the courtyard of his house and ordered him 
to cease his attacks on the constitution. A quarter 
of an hour of most curious discussion followed. Mallet 
challenged them to point to a single passage in the 
Mercure in which he had defended the ancient regime, 
he strongly vindicated his own opinions, and told the 
deputation that he had not come to France to take 


lessons in liberty. He assured them that they might 
burn his house or drag him to the scaffold, but that 
they should never induce him to apostatize as they 
urged him to do and write in favour of the dominant 
opinions. They retired apparently impressed by his 
arguments and his courage ; he, on his side, testifying 
that they could not have executed their odious mission 
with greater propriety of demeanour. In telling the 
story he took occasion to state in a more complete 
fashion than he had hitherto done his own personal 
attitude towards the Revolution, to affirm his approval 
of a movement which had substituted for an absolute 
monarchy gangrened with abuses, a regular and legal 
government of which the King had laid the founda- 
tions ; his stern condemnation of the anarchy which 
would before long turn the sovereignty of the people 
into an unlimited despotism ; his admiration for the 
principles of the British Constitution, the only princi- 
ples applicable to a great state in which monarchy 
must be preserved, principles which alone could re- 
concile the rights of liberty with those of authority ; 
finally his haughty repudiation of the accusation that 
he had been bribed to support the cause of royalty. 
Shortly afterwards * Mallet, a Protestant, gave fresh 
proof of his intrepidity and of his independence by an 
article condemning the treatment of the French clergy. 
It had been decreed in November 1790 that all bishops 
and curbs who did not take the oath of fidelity to the 
new civil constitution of the Church should be dismissed, 
and the result was the schism which so greatly aggra- 
vated the political difficulties of France. Opinions, 

1 Mcrcure, i5th January and 23rd April 1791. 

observed Mallet, would always be divided as to the 
necessity of the sweeping reform which had been oper- 
ated in the Church in France, but what posterity would 
indignantly condemn was the pitiless persecution to 
which its members were now being subjected ; the 
insults to which they were daily exposed from the fury 
and intolerance of the public. ' // manquait un pheno- 
mene a notre siecle, celui de Catheisme persecuteur" 
More than once he returned to the subject * and pointed 
out the disastrous mistake made by the Assembly in 
refusing the co-operation of the clergy which would 
have been willingly given in the work of reform, and 
in driving them to choose between their duty to their 
conscience and their duty to the state. 

The treatment of the clergy was only one form of 
the intolerance, " that incurable leprosy of the human 
heart," which was showing itself in so many ways in 
the Assembly, in the press, and in the theatres. 2 The 
monstrous inquisition into opinions, and the trade of 
the informer " so honoured by Sylla, Tiberius, Sejanus, 
Louis XI., the Long Parliament and our own Comitd 

instance in the Mercure of loth September 1791. 
" Quelques Ecclesiastiques scandaleux, quelques Abbes dissipateurs, 
quelques Cures tracassiers, n'empecheraient pas la grande pluralite 
des pasteurs, a commencer par les Prelats, d'etre aux yeux du peuple 
des magistrals de morale, des censeurs respectables, des solliciteurs de 
charites, des hommes devoues par etat, par conscience, par habitude, 
par interet meme, a secourir journellement 1'indigence et le malheur. 
Quiconque a presente le Clerge de France en general sous des 
couleurs diffe"rentes, a ete le plus criminel des calomniateurs ; car il 
a detruit pour jamais 1'empire inestimable de la bienfaisance inspired 
par la Religion." 

a " Les spectacles deviennent aujourd'hui inabordables . . . nul 
n'est assure" en y entrant d'en sortir sain et sauf " (Mercure). 


des Recherches" became a constant theme of melan- 
choly and sarcastic comment. But increasing danger 
only stimulated the editor of the Mercure to speak out 
with greater freedom, and to insist that the employment 
of force against opinion, of violence to stifle contra- 
diction, was the most signal proof of moral weakness. 
Although, as he said, it was no longer permitted to 
speak of the legislature save in the language reserved 
for absolute sovereigns, he never relaxed his analysis 
of the debates which became more and more caustic 
and trenchant, until with the Legislative Assembly it 
came to resemble a continuous satire of the proceedings. 1 
It was treason to allude to the thorn in freedom's bed 
of roses, but Mallet continued his weekly record of 
crimes perpetrated in her name, a record of which 
Taine and other writers have made ample use. The 
recital, unwelcome to many, and tedious as it appears 
to most readers at this distance of time, was yet it 
must be remembered an essential part of the work of 
a contemporary historian anxiously striving to collect 
evidence as to the course of events, to arouse the 
conscience of the people against excesses, and to 
preserve, if it was still possible, what was useful 
and beneficial in the Revolution. The task indeed 
seemed hopeless enough : 

"The tragedies," he wrote in March 1791, "which 
have become the history of every day from every canton 

1 Without however, observed Gentz, losing its truthfulness, as a 
comparison with the reports of the Moniteur, the Logographe and 
other papers, shows. " Mallet du Pan," he wrote, " a peint avec 
fide'lite' le cote tragique des evenements, mais il y a des temps dont 
1'histoire, malgre leur incontestable horreur, ressemble tellement a une 
farce, qu'elle est par elle-meme une satyre sous la main de 1'historien." 


of the kingdom, pass unnoticed in Paris amid the din of 
operas, of ballets, of songs, of orgies, and make equally 
little impression in good and in bad company. I leave 
observers to draw a horoscope from this formidable 
lethargy. It cannot be displeasing to the partisans 
of the excesses of the Revolution. It is a fact that 
the capital is in a strange condition of ignorance as 
to the real situation of the kingdom and of the pro- 

In the month of June he took occasion, in publishing 
a letter from Cahors full of fresh horrors, to make a 
solemn appeal to all parties. Remarking on the 
sanguinary character " so gratuitously imposed on the 
Revolution," he asks : 

" Can those who so cunningly engineered these 
excesses have sounded the depth of the soil in which 
they were planting the roots of anarchy? Can they 
have foreseen that after two years France, with all its 
laws and its tribunals, its magistrates and civic guards 
bound by solemn oaths to defend order and public 
safety, would still be an arena in which wild beasts 
devour unarmed men ? Ah ! how Europe, how philo- 
sophy, how every friend of liberty would have re- 
spected the Revolution, had not each of its steps been 
defiled by blood ! Ah ! that its insensate leaders had 
only had the foresight and humanity to perceive that 
when the first crisis had been decided in their favour, 
the part of patriotism was to preserve restraints instead 
of destroying them ! Every week is signalised by an 
assassination. Les cannibales," he adds, " qui ^crivent 
font leur metier en justifiant les cannibales qui coupent 
les tetes et les portent en triomphe ; ces deux races 
d'hommes sont du meme sang." 

The 2ist of June 1791, the day of the flight to 
Varennes, was the occasion of another and still more 


formidable domiciliary visit which put an end to Mallet 
du Pan's labours for more than two months. 

" On that day," to quote his own account, " the 
section of the Luxembourg, without any legal authority, 
sent a detachment of soldiers and a commissioner to 
my house, and it was only by chance that on my way 
home with my wife I heard of what had happened. 
On a day of so much excitement prudence dictated 
that I should leave my house in possession of those 
who had made themselves masters of it. They ques- 
tioned my servants in order to discover my where- 
abouts, and several of them announced their designs of 
conducting me to the Abbaye Saint-Germain, the new 
Bastille which has witnessed the confinement in the 
course of two years of more innocent persons than the 
old one had received during the whole reign of Louis 
XVI. The deputation examined my papers, carrying 
away and transcribing a portion of them, and leaving 
the rest under the guard of a couple of fusiliers." 

Proceedings followed before the Comite des Re- 
cherches of the municipality, and it was only after a 
fortnight that Mallet du Pan was allowed to return to 
his house, during which time he was supposed either to 
have been imprisoned or murdered, \tue civiquement 
dans la Rue Taranne^\ or to have fled to Brussels or 
Geneva. " Mallet du Pan," wrote Brissot's journal, the 
Chronique de Paris, ' afuicomme un roi\ This paper 
raised the cry for proscription, inviting the patriots to 
hunt down the aristocratic newspapers. " From this 
day," it wrote on the 23rd of June, " we shall not allow 
the circulation of the Ami du Roi, nor of Mallet du 
Pan, nor of the Gazette de Parts, nor of the Actes des 
Apotres" A little later it complained that the pursuit 
had slackened : 


' On n'a pas meme inquire Mallet du Pan, qui se 
promene au Luxembourg, entoure" d'une noble escorte 
de chevaliers de St. Louis, tous ebahis de son eloquence 
et de son tendre deVouement a 1'esclavage ! ' 

This highly coloured detail is all we have of 
Mallet's existence at this time. So much of truth 
there is in it that he remained in Paris 1 during 

1 The following sketch by Mallet du Pan's daughter, Madame 
Colladon, gives a vivid idea of the anxieties of the family life in Paris 
during these years : 

" Comprenez-vous mon enfance, passee aux premieres horreurs de 
la Revolution ; ces soirees silencieuses, ou assise a cote" de ma mere, 
sur une petite chaise, chaque coup de marteau de la porte me causait 
une emotion, pensant qu'il annon9ait mon pere dont 1'attente ne 
menait a rien moins qu'a croire chaque jour qu'on nous le rame- 
nerait assassine. Ma mere ne disait rien, et moi non plus; mais 
quoique fort jeune (13 ans) je devinais et je partageais toutes ses 
impressions. Puis cette affreuse scene a 1'opera, ou j'entendis 
vociferer ce bon Peuple centre les Aristocrates, et crier Mallet du Pan 
a la lanterne. Un signe de ma courageuse mere nous contient, mais 
je perdis subitement la memoire, et le sentiment du lieu, et de ce 
qui se passait autour de moi ; et il fallut bien me sortir de cette loge, 
effraye qu'on etait de mes questions a voix basse. Mile Morillon, 
notre amie, me fit prendre 1'air et me soigna pendant que ma mere 
restait la immobile. Je date de ce jour une grande partie de mes 
maux actuels. Puis vinrent les affreuses journees des 5 et 6 Octobre, 
1789 ce roulement lugubre du tambour ces Gardes Nationales, a 
jamais execrables pour moi ces torrents de pluie cette consternation 
de mon malheureux pere, si justifiee par 1'eVenement ces tetes portees 
au bout des piques. ' Plus tard, cette fuite du Roi, pendant laquelle 
il fallut, en hate, fuir nous meme notre maison nous se"parer nous 
cacher les uns ici, les autres la et ces cris de ' Grande Arrestation 
du Roi a Varennes ! ' Ces cris, je les entends encore ; ils viennent 
encore me troubler jusqu'au fond de Tame. Enfin, on quitta cette 
horrible France, et lorsqu'arretes dans la Diligence a la sortie de 
Paris pour criailler Vive la Nation / ma mere s'empressait de le faire, 
ainsi qu'un Monsieur de Lasaussaye, ministre Protestant qui fit le 


these two months while the existence of the monarchy 
was in the balance, watching we may suppose the 
internecine ravings of the press ; of Brissot, Camille 
Desmoulins and Marat on the one hand, who re- 
echoed in their journals the sanguinary threats of the 
clubs, and of the royalist writers on the other, who 
subsidised by the court party exhausted themselves 
in libellous and outrageous sarcasm. He had fully 
determined, as he tells us, not to re-enter the arena if 
the monarchy fell in name as it had in fact. No one 
had more patiently and honestly tried the appeal to 
reason and argument on every constitutional and polit- 
ical point as it arose than he, but it had now become 
clear to him that nothing could resist the torrent of 
ignorant fanaticism which had overborne all idea of 
moderation, till there no longer existed any semblance 
of public opinion in France. " Nothing is more 
useless," he wrote, " than to combat the revolutionary 
fever with sheets of paper ; On ne convertit, on 
nadoucit personne, les enthousiastes sirritent comme 
les hydrophobes lorsquon leur presente le remede" 
Nothing was more futile than to appeal to a population 
debauched by the most shameful of all wars, a war of 
pamphlets. ' Uecrivaillerie} wrote Montaigne, ' est le 
symptome dun siecle deborde ; ' and Mallet du Pan, 
who often quoted the aphorism, traced many of the 

voyage avec nous ; il me fut impossible d'articuler un son, on 
m'aurait plutot hachee : comme j'e"tais a la portiere de lavoiture, cela 
fut remarque" ; et le danger passe, le bon Lasaussaye me gourmanda 
vivement. J'avais 14 ans; j'en ai 55, et suis la mme; mes 
opinions ont t fixe'es pour la vie. Si j'aime peu le Peuple j'ai 
certes mes raisons. Si je m'interesse aux descendants de Louis 
XVI, c'est pour respect pour sa me'moire." 


characteristics of the Revolution, the unchecked course 
of outrage, the terror which had frozen courage, the 
absence of generous speech and strong action, to the 
moral effeminacy caused by the torrent of periodical 
literature which had deluged the country. " Pamphlets 
were the arsenal upon which the oppressors drew to 
establish their tyranny, while the oppressed left their 
vindication to the printers, and readers in the midst of 
disorder and disaster looked upon the Revolution only 
as a sham fight of reasoning, eloquence and invective." 
What wonder if the publicist, convinced that the issue 
would be decided by force, had declined the melancholy 
task of ploughing the sand, or that he should have 
conceived a horror of the profession of a political 
writer which had been so prostituted by those who 
followed it ! 

Considerations like these, however, set forth in an 
article l which is among the most remarkable of Mallet 
du Pan's productions for its dignity, eloquence and ar- 
gumentative force, were finally overruled by his sense 
of duty to his subscribers many of whom had given 
him touching proofs of their esteem and attachment, 
and by his generous reluctance to abandon the remnant 
of those who were determined to exhaust every effort 
in defence of the King. To their appeals he yielded, 

1 1 regret the impossibility of printing this article as it stands, 
together with one in the following week, in defence of the nobles and 
clergy (Mercure, 3rd and roth Sept. 1791). They would enable 
readers to form an opinion of Mallet's style as a journalist, and they 
paint the man with his earnestness, his fire, his love of true freedom, 
his hatred of injustice and violence, his repudiation of the idea that 
a bloody revolution was necessary to put an end to the abuses of the 
ancien regime. 


not without a taunt at the expense of readers who ap- 
peared to look upon a journalist as a servant whom 
they had commissioned to defend their opinions while 
they took their ease or their pleasure, and who thought 
it a matter of course that a man should devote himself, 
at the risk of his life, his liberty and his property, to 
turning out every week a certain number of pages to 
amuse them ' durant Iheure du chocolat '. For six 
months more until the publication of his opinions 
became a physical impossibility did he struggle on, 
and well did he fulfil his promise that "as long as 
he was allowed to hold a pen, he would ennoble it 
by steady perseverance in the paths of truth and 
justice ". 

The events which preceded and followed the flight 
of the royal family on the 2ist of June had, in reality, 
destroyed the last chance of a restoration of constitu- 
tional authority to the Monarch. It was in May that 
Robespierre had succeeded, with the assistance of 
course of the Right, in carrying his crafty motion 
for the exclusion of the members of the Constitu- 
tional Assembly, ' athletes vigour eux mats fatigues ' as 
he described them in his sentimental jargon, from 
becoming members of the second legislative Assembly 
which was to meet in September. This decision, 
which excluded the experienced moderate members 
from participation in public affairs, while it allowed 
the extremists to continue and increase their political 
activity in the clubs and municipality, immensely ac- 
celerated the march of the Revolution. For in the 
expiring Assembly the moderate party had been grow- 
ing stronger, and the tardy adherence of the hitherto 
popular leaders, the Feuillant triumvirate Duport, Bar- 


nave i and Alexandre de Lameth, to the party of order 
had given an actual majority to those who wished to 
see the executive strengthened. But in preventing the 
escape of the royal family, which would have saved 
them all, they made a fatal mistake, and although they 
were strong enough to spare the King the insult of a 
public trial, the Assembly proved again incapable of 
giving strength to government ; and the revision of 
the constitution, rushed through in August, made no 
change of importance beyond decreeing that it should 
remain unaltered for thirty years. The King, who 
had become in 1789 "Chef Supreme du Pouvoir Exe- 
cutif," and then simply " Pouvoir Exe"cutif," was finally 
left in the position of " Premier fonctionnaire public," and 

1 Barnave, a young barrister from Grenoble with a reputation for 
oratory, had been sent to the States General as a disciple of Mounier, 
from whom, however, he soon dissociated himself to become a leader 
of the advanced party in the National Assembly. His mot fatal 
Ce sang est-il done si pur ? and his savage accusation against Malouet 
who was defending the Club Monarchique from attacks on account 
of their charity to the indigent Vous distribuez au peupk un pain 
empoisonne however inexcusable, did not betoken the character of 
an assassin or any intention to overthrow the monarchy. He was 
merely, as Malouet observed, an ardent and presumptuous young 
man. He was one of the members deputed to escort the royal family 
back to Paris after the 2ist of June, and his change of front at this 
time was popularly attributed to a supposed infatuation conceived on 
that occasion for the Queen. Some years later Mallet du Pan wrote 
of him as a man whose death had done honour to the scaffold of the 
Republic. " History will pass judgment on the faults of M. Barnave ; 
to-day it would be atrocious to notice anything but his mistakes. 
Whatever blame may attach to his conduct during the first years of 
the Revolution, we should not forget his devotion to the King and 
Queen after the Montmedi journey, his repentance, his efforts to de- 
fend the Monarchy which he had helped to undermine, his sufferings, 
his long captivity, and the courage of his last moments." 


Mallet du Pan, who had as lately as May strongly 
blamed Burke's impolitic denunciation of the constitu- 
tion, his ' outrages sanglants contre les lois d'un empire 
voisinj himself pitilessly analysed its provisions in 
September and exposed the results of the theory of 
the sovereignty of the people, even then, however, 
protesting that he would set the example of entire 
submission to the constitution if only it succeeded in 
holding its ground and re-establishing social order. 
Outside the Assembly the slight rally to moderate 
principles equally failed ; and the attempt of Lafayette 
and Bailly to make head against the revolutionary 
party in Paris merely led to the so-called massacre of 
the Champ de Mars (i7th July) and widened the 
breach between the bourgeoisie and the populace. 

Such was the struggle which Mallet du Pan had 
watched in silence and with growing anxiety until his 
reappearance in the Mercure on the 3rd September. 
On the 1 4th of that month, amid the noisy and 
factitious rejoicings of the capital, the royal prisoner in 
the Tuileries was reduced to signing the conditions 
presented to him. Entering the Assembly with the 
escort which remained to him, some national guards, 
esquires and pages, and without his cordon bleu, he 
solemnly accepted the revised constitution, beginning 
his speech standing, while the President, Thouret, sat 
with his legs crossed and his elbows on the arms of his 
chair, staring at the King. 1 When it is remembered 

1 " Au moment ou le Roi pronon^ait les mots, ' Je jure d'etre 
fidele a la nation,' 1' Assembled s'etait assise, et pour la premiere fois 
de sa vie, Louis XVI, pour la premiere fois depuis la fondation de 
la Monarchic, le roi de France, jurait debout fidelite a ses sujets assis. 
Mais ceux-ci, devenus le souverain, ne voyaient plus dans le roi que 


that in July Robespierre had openly demanded the trial 
of the King ; that Danton and the Cordeliers were 
agitating for his dethronement ; and that Condorcet, the 
philosopher mathematician who a few months later 
exhausted intrigues and threats to place his wife at 
Court and obtain for himself the post of tutor to the 
Dauphin, and a little later still poisoned himself in 
prison to escape the guillotine, had just published his 
demonstration of the necessity of a republic, it was 
indeed a noteworthy act of courage on Mallet's part 
to have written of Louis XVI. as he did at this time. 
In terms of noble eulogy he spoke of him (Mercure, 
September loth 1791) as a prince whose only fault it 
was to have judged others as virtuous as himself; who 
alone perhaps in the kingdom had himself desired the 
alliance of liberty with the monarchy ; who had done 
more for the rights of the people than all the sovereigns 
and demagogues of ancient and modern times put to- 
gether. 1 

But the question round which the hopes and fears 
of the leading actors in the struggle were now be- 

le premier fonctionnaire salarie, legalement soumis a la decheance. 
Apres les mots 'Assemblee nationale Constituante ' le Roi s'aper- 
cevant que lui seul etait debout, a parcouru la salle d'un regard ou la 
bonte temperait jusqu'a la surprise, et sa Majeste s'est assise et a 
poursuivi son discours " (Mercure, 24th Sept. 1791). 

1 " Je ne suis pas ne sous sa domination ; je donnerai mon sang 
pour le maintien du gouvernement republicain qui a forme mon 
enfance, mes inclinations, mon esprit, et mon caractere; mais je 
m'honore, avec tout ce que les etats libres renferment d'hommes 
ge"nereux, de verser des larmes sur le sort d'un Roi qui ne peut ni me 
recompenser ni me punir, sur le sort de la nation trompee qui a pu 
meconnaitre 1'etendue de ses magnanimes sacrifices, et la purete de 
ses intentions," etc. 


ginning to turn was that of the approach of war with 
Austria ; and it is important, in view of Mallet's later 
attitude and the criticisms made upon it, to realise the 
position he took up during the ensuing months. Up 
to this time the European Powers, engrossed in the in- 
trigues and negotiations which in the month of August 
closed the war between Russia and Turkey on the 
mediation of England and Prussia, and brought about 
a general pacification in accordance with Leopold's 
views, had paid but little attention to the desperate 
plight of the King of France. On the very day after 
the appearance of the King in the Assembly, that body 
in defiance of all treaty rights decreed the annexation 
of Avignon, an outrage which failed to arouse the 
opposition of the Powers. The Congress of Pillnitz is 
generally taken as having sounded the tocsin against 
the Revolution ; but it was little more than an expres- 
sion of platonic interest in the French monarchy, and it 
may rank from this point of view among the comedies 
augustes of history which Mallet called it. Its real 
importance is derived from the change it effected in 
the European balance of power by laying the founda- 
tion of an alliance between the two great German 
States, and from the handle it gave to the war party 
in France to inflame and alarm public opinion. 

On the 1 5th of October Mallet du Pan surveyed 
the condition of Europe and carefully summed up the 
chances of war. The two great Powers, Austria and 
Prussia, 1 showed no sign of taking action, and though 

1 The possibility of Great Britain's interference was at this time 
hardly discussed. He speaks of " England disarmed and governed 
by a minister too prudent to enter into a league, the expenses of which 


the disposition of Russia and Sweden was more doubtful, 
he repeated his conviction that the whole of Europe was 
peacefully inclined. I f intervention did ultimately ensue 
it would be the cause of the people and not that of the 
kings which would arm the greater part of Europe in 
defence of order and civil freedom. As for the King 
of France, " so far from being a cause of provocation " 
(a remark which in view of his continual appeals and 
those of the Queen to the Austrian Court is hardly 
justified by the facts), "he is the one link which binds 
France to Europe. If the nation still holds any 
political rank, if her relations with the rest of the 
world are not yet entirely suspended, she owes it to 
Louis XVI. and to him alone." But if Europe was 
pacific two powerful sections of Frenchmen within 
and without were working for war. In the new 
Assembly, now in the hands of the party afterwards 

would sooner or later provoke discussion in Parliament and in every 
class of the nation on the principles of the French Revolution ". 
Later remarks throw a rather curious sidelight on the way European 
statesmen looked on England (as they still look on her) in the 
character of an ally. "De tous les e"tats de 1'Europe," he wrote, 
" 1'Angleterre est celui qui a le mieux connu 1'art de contracter des 
alliances pour en e"luder le fardeau et pour en retirer les benefices . . . 
nulle puissance n'a porte a un si haut degre 1'egoisme dans les 
alliances ; elle n'en remplira jamais les engagements qu'autant qu'elle 
pourra le faire avec une utilitd certaine." He instanced her conduct 
to Prussia in 1757 and during the troubles in Holland in 1788, and 
quoted the well-known opinion of Frederick the Great on the value 
of an English alliance. The earlier years of the revolutionary war 
gave another illustration of English methods. " Sa position insulaire 
ne lui permet de secourir une puissance que par des subsides. 
Donne-t-elle des secours de diversion ? C'est ordinairement pour s'en 
approprier les avantages" (by appropriating islands and commerce). 
Mercure, 28th January 1792. 


known as the Girondists, Brissot 1 had taken Mirabeau's 
place on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and with his 
furious denunciations of the 2Oth of October against the 
potentates of Europe had launched his campaign which 
was to make war inevitable. On the other hand the 
French Emigres by their great gatherings and warlike 
preparations at Coblentz and Worms were doing their 
best to drag the German Powers into their domestic 
quarrel ; they formed the text of the patriotic oratory 
of the Assembly and were the direct occasion of the 
dissensions between the European Governments and 
France. Mallet du Pan had never disguised his 
opinion of the emigration started by the cowardly 
flight of the Comte d'Artois and the Polignacs after 
the fall of the Bastille. 2 The emigration of this 
summer and autumn was on an enormous scale, and he 

Brissot, Mallet's old opponent in 1782 at Geneva, had long 
been outrageously violent in his attacks upon him. M. Sorel (L } Europe 
et la Revolution Franfaise, vol. ii., pp. 301-2) well describes the man 
and his role at this period. His training had been that of the venal 
journalistic and political intrigue of London and Paris which Mallet 
had often signalised as one of the worst features of the pre-revolu- 
tionary epoch. In the position of importance into which his pushing 
and turbulent disposition had brought him in the new Assembly, 
" il disposait de 1'Europe avec un aplomb imperturbable. C'etait 
une espece de Figaro exalte, ambitieux de mouvement bien plus que 
de puissance, assez leger pour tout dire, assez sincere pour tout croire, 
assez fanatique pour tout oser ; serviable a ses amis, vindicatif avec ses 
adversaires, apre a la brigue, de*sinte"ress pour sa propre personne, et 
se faisant par Ik de ses passions meme les plus mesquines des vertus 
d'Etat ... on disait brissoter pour intriguer." 

2 " Jamais," he afterwards wrote, "je n'ai approuve Pemigration, 
parce que j'ai toujours connu qu'il e*tait absurde de quitter la France 
dans 1'espoir de la sauver, et de se mettre dans la servitude des 
Grangers pour preVenir ou pour terminer une querelle nationale." 


noted in October that six hundred naval officers had 
left the kingdom, that the epidemic had extended to 
officers of all ranks and in every branch of the army ; 
that the small noblesse of the provinces, who had suffered 
as much as any class from the abuses of the ancien 
regime, unlike the nobles who had besieged the anti- 
chambers of Versailles and were now doing equal 
disservice to their country at foreign courts, that these 
lesser owners of the soil were flying en masse, many of 
them on foot, to the frontier, 1,200 having left Poitiers 
alone, and the whole of the same class from Brittany ; 
and that in many towns there now only remained the 
" artisan population, a club, and the devouring cloud 
of officials created by the constitution ". There is an 
interesting account (Mercure, i8th October 1791) of a 
visit paid by some of these resident landowners to 
Mallet du Pan at this time, men who till then had 
never left their country homes. 1 They came to thank 

1 " II est fort aise" " (he had written on loth September) "a un 
agitateur de mauvaise foi de repre"senter tous les nobles comme des 
sangsues et tous les Pasteurs comme des fripons : ces mensonges n'em- 
pechent pas que, sur cent proprietaires qualifies, quatre-vingt n'e"taient 
connus de leurs vassaux que sous des rapports de bienfaisance ; 
que le chateau fournissait desjaliments dans les maladies, des aumones 
plus ou moins abondantes chaque annee, des travaux continuels, des 
places aux enfants, des recommandations utiles aux peres, et des repits 
dans les paiements des redevances en cas de detresse particuliere ou de 
calamite publique. La noblesse des Provinces habitait leurs terres 
une grande partie de 1'annee, et y depensait par consequent une 
somme considerable de ses revenus. J'admets la durete de quelques 
intendants domestiques, 1'insolence de la valetaille, et quelquefois 
les hauteurs trop impe'rieuses des maitres ; ces torts particuliers ne 
balansaient point les avantages|infinis qui resultaient de cette clientele, 
de ce Patriarchal entre le seigneur et ses vassaux. On n'avait pas besoin 
surement d'une revolution sanglante pour faire disparaltre les abus de 


him with tears in their eyes for his efforts to preserve 
their lives and properties from fire and sword. When 
they told him that they were about to follow their 
compatriots to the Low Countries, he endeavoured to 
give them hopes of better times, to persuade them 
to remain. They replied that it was not regret for 
their lost privileges which caused them to seek relief 
in foreign countries, and they drew heart-rending 
pictures of the oppression, the outrages, the robbery 
which made their existence in the provinces a literal 
impossibility. From the fanaticism of despair which 
he read in their hearts, and from the number of those 
who shared their feelings, Mallet du Pan augured 
danger to the newly established " liberties " of France ; 
and it is not surprising that the rulers of the country, 
unable or unwilling in the midst of the anarchy they 
had created to act on Mallet's warning that the only 
way to recall the absent or retain the fugitives was to 
guarantee their freedom, their religion and their per- 
sonal safety, should have striven as they did to legislate 
against their emigration, and to force the Powers to dis- 
band and disperse their gatherings in foreign countries. 
The resignation of the Foreign Office on the 27th 
of November by the Comte de Montmorin, who re- 
mained by the King's side as his secret adviser till the 
end and who shared his fate, 1 the appointment of the 

cette institution ; abus bien peu one"reux aux campagnes en comparai- 
son de tant d'autres sous lesquelles elles gemissaient, et spe"cialement 
les exactions des gens de loi qui ont remplace les gentilshommes dans 
la faveur de la multitude." 

1 He was killed during the September massacres. One of his sons 
was drowned as a young naval officer, the other died at the age of 
twenty-two on the guillotine with his mother, shouting Vive le roi 


feeble Delessart as his successor, and of Narbonne, 1 the 
friend w\&protege of Madame de Stae'l, to the Ministry 
of War, swept away the last barrier in France against 
the war, and gave full rein lo the efforts of the 
Brissotins to goad the unwilling Emperor into taking 
up the challenge. There no longer remained in the 
Assembly a single voice to point out the desperate 
character of the move upon which the destiny of 
France and of the monarchy was being staked, to 
offer resistance to the motives of real and simulated 
patriotism, always so powerful in a high-spirited nation 
on the imminent approach of war, or to unmask the 
designs of those who had so skilfully fanned the flame 
of patriotic ardour. For one reason or another all 
parties were, or seemed to be, united in the determina- 
tion to bring matters to an issue. Brissot and the 
Girondists desired a war which should identify the 
Revolution with patriotic feeling, and, by confounding 
the cause of the king with that of the foreigners and 
the emigres, should complete the ruin of the monarchy 
and establish a republic to be presided over by them- 
selves. The pure Royalists and the emigres looked 
forward to a counter-revolution as a result of foreign 
conquest which would re-establish the ancien regime. 
Narbonne and the ministers on the one hand, and 

at the death of each of his fellow victims ; his remaining child, the 
Comtesse de Beaumont, escaped the guillotine, and was befriended 
like so many others by Madame de Stae'l, but she did not long survive 
the catastrophes which had overwhelmed the family of this faithful 
servant of the king. 

1 " Le Comte Louis de Narbonne," wrote the Queen to Fersen, 
" est enfin Ministre de la Guerre. Quelle gloire pour Madame de 
Stae'l, et quel plaisir pour elle d'avoir toute 1'armee a elle ! " 


Barnave on the other, actively promoted hostilities 
with the idea that foreign war would regenerate the 
army, which under a victorious general might pacify 
the country, suppress anarchy and consolidate the civil 
conquests of the Revolution. 

Outside the Assembly, indeed, two strangely con- 
trasted forces, Robespierre and Danton on the one 
hand, and the King and his most intimate advisers on 
the other, were working against the war. Robespierre 
and Danton were openly opposed to it for the simple 
reason that however favourable from the anti-monarchi- 
cal point of view it might prove to be, the advantage 
would fall to the Girondists ; and they were no more 
anxious for the rule of Brissot than for that of Louis, 
who might moreover be rehabilitated by a successful 
campaign. They considered therefore that till the 
Revolution was completed in their sense, till the war 
against the King of France was over, war against 
the kings of Europe was madness. 1 

The position of the King, complicated as it was by 
the pressure of the various royalist factions and of the 
emigres, by the obvious dangers of the internal situation 
of the monarchy, by an entanglement of contradictory in- 
structions and secret missions from Louis and the Queen, 
and by the official and secret diplomacy of the Ministry, 
is less simply stated. But that he was wholly opposed 
to the policy which was being forced upon him is certain, 
and Mallet du Pan's own conduct and his repeated state- 
ments throw much light upon this point. The King 
viewed with the utmost displeasure the violence of his 
brothers and the emigres, who professing to consider 

ii., 317. 


him a prisoner had emancipated themselves from his 
control, disregarded his instructions, and urged upon 
the unwilling Kaunitz and the Emperor action of a 
kind which the distracted French sovereigns knew to 
be disastrous, however much they may have desired 
Austrian assistance. When, on the i4th of December, 
he had been forced to assent to the decree of the 
Assembly against the rassemblement of emigres in 
Treves which brought the Government within sight of 
war, he had written privately to Baron de Breteuil, 1 
informing him that he did not expect the Elector to 
accede to his demands, . . . and instructing him that he 
should summon the Powers to take measures for the 
dispersal and disarmament of the emigres, and then re- 
assemble them, disarmed, and defend the Electors. If 
war ensued it would not be a civil war from which he 
always shrank in horror, but a political war in which 
France could not engage with success, and the result of 
which would be to throw the French into his arms as 
mediator between them and the foreign army. The 
terms of this letter harmonise with the instructions with 
which Mallet du Pan went to Frankfort a few months 
later, and in the turn the King thus sought to give to 
the impending war he was no doubt in agreement 
with the advisers to whom at this time, and on this 
question, he had given his confidence, Montmorin, 
Malouet and Mallet du Pan. The course he took 
was perfectly consistent with the conviction which was 
held by the three friends, which was expressed, as we 
shall see, with the utmost persistency by, Mallet, and 
which was shared by the King himself, that war would 
be disastrous to the monarchy. 

1 Sorel, ii., 332. 


'Louis XVI,' wrote Mallet du Pan, 1 at a later 
date, ' regardait cette guerre comme le torn-beau de sa 
famille, de la monarchic, de la France, et comme le 
sien propre? Montmorin, he adds, prophetically de- 
scribed to him before he left Paris, in great detail, the 
results he feared from it and which actually followed. 
It was not, however, in an attitude of passive resigna- 
tion or pessimistic inaction, an attitude entirely foreign 
to his character, that Mallet du Pan had watched the 
growing storm. He had vigorously insisted that the 
King should use his veto against the first Jacobin decrees 
of the Legislative Assembly respecting the emigres 
and the refractory priests ; and the imposition upon 
Louis of ministers whom he regarded as the worst 
enemies of the monarchy had drawn from him the re- 
proach, "Will the conscience of the Prince be eternally 
subordinated to circumstances ? " Among his private 
notes is an account of an effort he made before Mont- 
morin resigned the Foreign Office to clear up the position 
of the King with regard to the Assembly. " Malouet 
et moi" he writes, decided Montmorin to propose to 
the King, in order to prove to the foreign courts 
that he was either free or a prisoner, to request the 
Assembly to allow him to go to Fontainebleau or 
Compiegne and there choose a ministry of his own. 
If they refused, his subjection would be demon- 
strated. If they agreed, the King would be able 
to appoint a ministry of vigorous and devoted men, 
and carry out his own views. Montmorin pressed the 
suggestion on the King three times without success, 
even throwing himself at the feet of the Queen. They 

1 Correspondance Politique pour servir a fhistoire du Republica- 
nisme Franfais, 1776. See note at end of this pamphlet. 


refused, afraid that the demand would cause an in- 
surrection. This incident is only one of many in 
which, by fatalistic optimism, by constitutional indolence 
and want of resolution, by his " invincible repugnance 
to the travail de la pensee" the King threw away his 
chances of safety. The failure of the flight to Varennes 
confirmed his natural disposition to let matters drift. 
The following June he refused another offer from 
Duport, who pressed his services upon him with every 
sign of repentance and devotion. ' JVon,' he replied, 
after pacing the room a few moments, ' au milieu des 
dangers qui nous environnent je ne dots pas en a Her 
chercher un nouveau! Courage he possessed in the 
highest degree, but courage of the purely passive kind, 
and Mallet du Pan notes that the degout de la vie, the 
difficulties of his position and religious exaltation had 
inspired him with a profound indifference to the death 
which he expected and even desired. 

After the 2oth of June 1792, when Madame de la 
Roche Aymon congratulated him on his courage and 
begged him to take measures for his future safety, he 
merely said, 'Ah vous etes femme, et Fon ne vous a pas, 
contme moi, rassasiee de la vie V An able man, as Morris 
observed, would not have fallen into his situation. 
The retrospect of the occasions on which a " small- 
beer character " (to use the American Minister's uncere- 
monious expression) threw away one by one his chances 
of averting revolution and of securing his own freedom, 
proves with irresistible force that a strong sovereign 
might even at the last moment have saved his country 
from anarchy, and his own house from the fate which 
Mirabeau had prophesied for it at the hands of the 

1 Anecdotes from Mallet du Pan's Notes. 


populace in the terrible words, ' I Is battront le pave de 
leurs cadavres\ But Mallet du Pan, who knew and 
sympathised so strongly with Louis' views and wishes 
for France, wrote of him always with a touch of per- 
sonal feeling very unusual with him. He is tender 
even to his faults : " Continually placed between the 
dangers of temerity which were great and those of 
prudence which were perhaps greater, he could never 
take a line inconsistent with the gentleness and easy- 
going amiability of his character. Courageous, as 
regarded his own life, timid as a child for those he 
loved, he had the heroism of resignation." 

It only remained therefore for Mallet du Pan to do 
all a journalist could to oppose the growing frenzy for 
war, and he lost no time in dissociating himself from 
the line followed by all of those who were stirring it up. 

" It is impossible," he wrote, 1 " for a true friend 
of this monarchy to consider the approach of war 
without dismay. It is impossible not to lament that 
before arriving at this fatal extremity no means of 
averting it should have been sought for, that no expres- 
sion save that of hatred should have made itself heard. " 

A little later he repeated his warnings, 2 in a pro- 
phetic denunciation of the ideals of the Jacobins on the 
one hand and of the ultra- Royalists on the other, the two 
political parties so different in their origin, so alike in 
their methods and their character, against which he was 
to struggle throughout the course of the Revolution. 

" I shall not cease to repeat what coming events 
will teach with far greater force that the war will 
complete the dissolution of the monarchy, or impose a 
fresh servitude upon it. A federal republic in case of 

1 Mercure, ijth Dec. 1791. 2 On yth Jan. 1791. 


its success, a terrible counter-revolution in case of 
failure. ... I venture to predict that it will not be for 
the preservation of the throne, or of the friends of 
monarchical government of whatever section, that our 
arms will triumph ; while if they are unsuccessful, the 
monarchy, the laws and true freedom will fall under 
the dominion of force . . . and another constitution 
will be created with the very sword which will have 
served to destroy that which now exists." 

With an insight which is remarkable when it is 
remembered that the world was yet to witness the de- 
monstration of the justice of his analysis, he went on to 
describe the nature of the convulsion which was to place 
civilisation at the mercy of the strongest ; to define the 
doctrine which placed liberty in the exercise of power by 
the majority, and equality in the restoration of all the 
" rights " given by nature to mankind at their creation ; 
and to point out the results of its application to a great 
empire " in which beings without virtues and without 
vices, indifferent to good as to evil, were the passive 
instruments of ferocious sophists and of enthusiastic 
innovators of the class and of the principles thrown 
up in times of disorder." J The threatened classes on 
the other hand consisted of men 

1 A famous phrase, often quoted since, occurs in a passage de- 
scribing the memorable subversion of the Lower Empire by the 
northern barbarians, a passage in which Constantinople, its feeble 
and corrupt government, and its population, which "sous les in- 
clinations de Sybarites cachaient Tame des cannibales," was described 
with evident reference to the actual condition of Paris. " Dans le 
tableau," he writes, " de cette memorable subversion on decouvre 
1'image de celle dont 1'Europe est menacee. Les Huns et les Herules, 
les Vandales et les Goths ne viendront ni du Nord ni de la mer 
Noire ; Us sont au milieu de nous" 


" enfeebled by self-indulgence, astounded by an up- 
heaval of which they had no experience, severed by 
the very diversity of their interests, painfully reckoning 
up their sacrifices at a moment when the enemy is 
about to relieve them of the necessity of making any ; 
combattant avec mollesse, avec la fausse securit6, et 
1'egoisme, contre les passions dans leur etat d'inde- 
pendance, contre la pauvrete feroce et I'immoralite 
hardie ". 

If he thus sought to dissipate the illusions of the 
Royalists, he discerned with no less clearness the effects 
of the war on the edifice of European society, the 
insecure foundations of which none more fully recog- 
nised than he. 

" No epoch of history, ancient or modern, presents 
a crisis of greater gravity. 1 The sovereigns will per- 
haps presume too much if they think they can unravel 
it by the simple force of arms." If they neglect to 
" appeal to public opinion, to point out that the in- 
terest of their subjects lies in the preservation of 
public order and lawful government, the excesses of 
the French Revolution may well subvert Europe from 
one end to another". 

In these words he struck the note to which in 
the following years he constantly returned ; as he 
did when he contrasted the enthusiasm of the war 
party in France and their threats, "no mere words," 
to raise subjects against their sovereigns, to corrupt 
the soldiery, to burn the chateaux while respecting 
the cottages, to free the people from all authority 
and to make use, in Brissot's phrase, of the "dagger 
of the tyrannicide," with the irresolution of Cabinets 

1 Mercure, i4th January 1791. 


and Governments. Everything, he observed, favoured 
the authors of social convulsion in Europe which 
seemed to have no common ground for resistance. 
" The first great nation which attempted to change the 
face of society would be met only by divided counsels, 
and the number and complication of the conventions 
which bound the States of Europe gave the measure 
of the motives of discord between them. " Not, however, 
without apparent reason did the reactionary Royalists 
look forward to the chances of a foreign war ; and the 
confidence with which Mallet du Pan himself, once war 
was declared, anticipated during the first campaigns 
the success of the allies was founded on his knowledge 
of the condition of impotence to which France had 
been reduced. More than once he drew attention to 
the growing disorganisation of the country. 

" Everywhere 1 authority was without strength, and 
illegitimate authorities were masters of the law and of 
civil liberty. Here the municipal officers insulted and 
beaten at Caen, there the directory of the department of 
Gers flying from an outraged and seditious mob ; here 
convoys of grain, there convoys of specie, stopped 
with violence ; the departments arbitrarily closing the 
churches and executing the decree against the priests 
notwithstanding the royal negative which deprived it 
of the character of law ; . . . the people impoverished 
and driven to desperation by the scourge of paper 
money and the excessive clearness of provisions ; 
proprietors of all ranks terrified, fleeing, imploring in 
vain the return of peace and security ; a fleet without 
a single officer, an army with barely two hundred, the 
new generals already calumniated like their prede- 
cessors, ministers libelled every day despite their 

1 Mercure, nth February 1792. 


efforts at conciliation, every moderate man condemned 
as a traitor how was a nation so situated to make 
head against the best armies and the most experienced 
generals of the continent ? " 

It was, however, far from the writer's intention to 
encourage by pictures like these the hopes of the 
Royalists whose hatred he had earned by his opposi- 
tion to the war, hopes whose complete success in his 
opinion could only inaugurate a fresh cycle of political 
disaster for France. Nor did he share the illusions of 
those who asserted with insolent iteration that " dis- 
order itself would bring about a restoration of order," 
that "anarchy would reconstitute despotism"; and he 
rebuked the easy optimism of men who " in their boxes 
at the opera, or with their foot on the step of the 
carnages which were carrying them to Coblentz," 
cheered themselves with the thought that " France 
loved her King," that she "could not do without the 
monarchy," that "democracy was perishing of itself"! 
"It is absurd," he said, " to imagine that a vast 
monarchy fourteen centuries old which had been 
shattered in a moment, would be restored, equally in 
a moment, by the progress of anarchy or the incon- 
stancy of the multitude." Rather on the contrary did 
he dwell on the signs which few but he perceived, and 
which for years the allied Courts ignored in spite of 
all his attempts to enlighten them, that anarchy was 
about to assume the character of a power which was 
to dominate all legal authority ; and that the elements 
of revolution would only be systematised by war. 
Europe was soon enough to learn the truth of this 
prediction when Danton with his energy, his practical 
grasp, his political aptitude and his freedom from all 


hampering prejudices, raised the armies and created 
the dictatorship of the Committee, which enabled 
Carnot to organise victory and in a national sense 
saved France. But appeal and warning alike were use- 
less to those who could not or would not see their true 
interests, and mere writing was powerless against the 
rush of events. While on the one hand the assas- 
sination of Gustavus of Sweden (the Don Quixote of 
the counter-revolution as Catherine II. named him) 
weakened the chance of a successful pursuit of war, on 
the other the death of Leopold, the accession of a 
Girondist ministry, the pusillanimity of the majority 
of the Legislative Assembly, brought the country to 
the actual declaration of war, and forced the king to 
sign with tears in his eyes the decree of his ministers. 
' Ckacun,' wrote Mallet afterwards, 'pent se rappeler la 
profonde tristesse de sa contenance et de sa voix lorsquil 
vint annoncer a F Assembl'ee la resolution de son Conseil? 
By this time the task of the writer had become 
impossible. Moderation, he wrote, was treated as a 
crime. Accused of being an ' aristocrate permanent 
et aussi incurable que Mauryl Mallet du Pan was now 
the mark of denunciation and sarcasm in the press, in 
the street, in the theatre. ' Mallet pendu' was Camille 
Desmoulins' significant nickname, or ' Mallet Mercure, 
Mallet le Char latan,fameux par ses pillules mercuriales, 
hebdomadaires et antipatriotiques ' ! Four civic assaults 
on his house, three actual arrests and one hundred and 
fifteen denunciations give the measure of the persecu- 
tion to which he had been subjected, and now several 
members of the Assembly warned him that his arrest 
and his removal to and trial at Orleans had been 
decided in the Republican Committee, and that the 


efforts of the Right would be powerless to save him. 
In a final article, therefore, he once more with singular 
fearlessness told the truth to friends and enemies, 
and urged that it was the height of madness, in view 
of the gulf which was yawning before them all, to 
persist in wrangling over the points which divided them 
instead of combining on those which were common to 

With these words came to an end Mallet's eight 
years' connection with the Mercure^ and a journalistic 
record which any one who studies it page by page in 
the original must pronounce to be unique. Composed 
as it is of detached articles and paragraphs on passing 
events, there runs through the whole work a unity of 
purpose and thought based on invariable principles ; 
and it stands alone for its coherence and consistency 
of view, for essential moderation, for its constant 
appeal to facts to reason to common sense and to 
public morality, for foresight and for unswerving and 
indomitable courage. Celebrated as the name of Mallet 
du Pan was to become on a wider field, there is no 
period of his life upon which a biographer can dwell 
with greater satisfaction than upon these early years 
during which his opinions were developed in actual 
contact and in daily struggle with the men and forces 
of the Revolution, years in which he showed in the 
highest degree not only, to use Carlyle's phrase, the 
" assurance of a man," but the qualities of practical 
statesmanship so rare among his French contempo- 

1 The Mercure was continued under Peuchet's direction till its 
long and honourable career was terminated on loth August 1792. 


It was not without protest that the King and his 
advisers heard of the intention of the one remaining 
champion of their views to abandon the field. But the 
necessity of the step was soon recognised, and it was 
decided upon Malouet's suggestion to utilise Mallet's 
departure by entrusting him with a mission of the 
utmost delicacy and importance, that of representing to 
the brothers of the King as well as to the Emperor and 
the King of Prussia the true situation of the kingdom, 
and the intention and views of the King as to the 
war and its consequences. Conferences followed be- 
tween Mallet du Pan, Bertrand de Moleville and Mont- 
morin ; and Mallet du Pan was requested to draw up 
the heads of a manifesto to be issued by the Powers. 
The King fully approved the draft, annotating it with 
his own hand, and Mallet then prepared the definite 
instructions which formed the basis of his subsequent 
action. The question of his credentials, absolutely 
necessary to ensure the envoy a hearing among the 
multitudes of real and pretended secret agents who 
inundated Germany at this moment, was a subject of 
anxious consideration. But the danger to which the 
discovery of any written authorisation would have 
exposed the king finally decided the ministers to 
despatch Mallet du Pan without credentials, which 
were to follow him and which did after some vicissi- 
tudes ultimately reach him. He was charged to 
maintain absolute secrecy as to his mission, and on 
the 2ist of May he departed to Geneva, leaving his 
family in Paris in order to divert suspicion. From 
Geneva he made his way without delay to Frankfort, 
where he was to await the arrival of the two Monarchs 

for the coronation of the Emperor Francis. 






No negotiator ever had a more difficult task than 
that which faced the unaccredited representative of a 
monarchy in extremis on his arrival at Frankfort in the 
middle of June. The Emperor and the King of Prussia 
were not expected for the opening of the diet and the 
coronation ceremonies until the following month, so 
Mallet du Pan addressed himself to that part of his 
instructions which related to the French Princes. It 
must be admitted that for the purpose of influencing 
them the envoy was singularly ill-chosen. He had 
never disguised his opinion of the action of the emigres 
or his belief that the ancien regime was gone for ever, 
and he had been bitterly attacked in Paris as the 
chief of the party described as Monarchiens, a sect as 
odious to the pure Royalists as the Jacobins. The 
Princes on their side had been for months acting in 
direct contravention of the ideas of the King, they had 
arrogated to themselves the position of mediators 
between the allies and the French people, and they 
were determined not to stand aside in the coming 
struggle. The outbreak of the war, indeed, which 
seemed to crown the hopes of the emigres was not 


favourable to moderate counsels ; and the influence of 
Calonne and the ultra- Royalists made Mallet's repre- 
sentations to the Princes, although supported by their 
wiser counsellors such as De Castries, highly unpalat- 
able. In spite of more than one journey to Coblentz he 
never therefore succeeded in obtaining an interview with 
them, until his reception by the sovereigns forced them 
into a momentary and delusive compliance with his 
views. It was the opening chapter of relations with 
the emigration which led him to appreciate the sagacity 
of the remark made by Cardinal de Retz ' quon a plus 
de peine a vivre avec les gens de son parti quavec 
ceux qui nen sont pas? His futile but unceasing 
efforts to save the royalist cause from the conse- 
quences of its own blindness, prejudice and ignorance, 
are henceforth graphically portrayed in a long-sustained 
correspondence with the chief advisers of the Princes, 
and form as we shall see the real tragedy of Mallet 
du Pan's political career during the next few years. 
Meanwhile the Revolution was making alarming pro- 
gress in Paris, and the situation of the King, described 
in Malouet's letters, was becoming daily more critical. 
On the i Qth of June, after the King had vetoed the 
decree relating to the priests and the federes, he had 
written to his confessor : ' J'ai fini avec les hommes, 
je dois me tourner vers Dieu. On annonce pour 
demain de grands malheurs : faurai du courage? 
The 2oth accordingly had witnessed the invasion of 
the Tuileries by sixty thousand sons-culottes, when the 
royal family was saved only by some revulsion of feel- 
ing caused in the mob by the spectacle of the King's 
calm and resigned courage. It may be imagined with 
what anguish of impatience his envoy, who was only 


too well informed of what was passing in Paris, waited 
in enforced inaction for an opportunity of fulfilling his 
mission. All was postponed to the absorbing impor- 
tance of the election and coronation of the Emperor 
which at last took place on the i4th of July. It is 
disappointing, but somewhat characteristic, that Mallet 
du Pan should have left no description of the ceremony 
which then took place for the last time with all the 
ancient pomp of the Holy Roman Empire, beyond 
remarking in a letter to his wife on the sumptuousness 
of the imperial equipages and liveries, " magnificence 
never approached by the court of Versailles," and 
observing that the young Emperor was the object of 
public idolatry and had won all hearts by the charm, 
delicacy and modesty of his features, and the propriety 
of his speeches and bearing. Little did he or any of 
those who took part in the pageant imagine the co- 
incidence, since pointed out, that at the same moment 
the last King of the old monarchy of France was for 
the second time renewing his oath to the constitution 
on the Champ de Mars, surrounded by an armed and 
hostile multitude ; little did they foresee that he was 
never again to appear among his people till he was led 
forth to execution, or that the war which was about to 
open would not only seal his fate, but would ultimately 
prove the destruction of the Empire itself. Even now 
difficulties of etiquette and diplomatic punctilio delayed 
the opening of the negotiations ; and it was not till 
Mallet du Pan had received the note from the hand 
of Louis XVI. which is itself an eloquent and pathetic 
witness of his desperate situation l that he was able 

1 Facsimile of autograph note by Louis XVI. transmitted to 
Mallet du Pan to serve as his credentials during his mission to the 


to triumph over the intrigues of his opponents and 
especially of the Russian minister Romanzoff, and 
secure his presentation to the Emperor, the Duke 
of Brunswick, and the King of Prussia, the latter of 
whom asked many questions on the state of France 
and the position of the royal family. Nothing could 
apparently have been more satisfactory than the 
conferences which followed between Mallet du Pan 
and Cobenzel on behalf of Austria and Haugwitz 
and Hey man acting for Prussia. The ministers de- 
clared the intention of the Powers to conform in all 
respects to the wishes of the King of France ; they 
assured his envoy that they were influenced by no 
views of ambition, of personal interest or of conquest 
in entering on the war, they approved in every par- 
ticular of his draft of the declaration to be issued, and 
they showed a salutary distrust of the designs of 
Coblentz. Writing on the i7th of July to his wife, 
Mallet du Pan said : 

" For the last week I have been up to the 
neck in business, morning, evening and even at 
night. I cannot describe the effect produced by my 
journey, my memoranda, my conferences, nor the 
degree of confidence which has been shown to me. 
Everything I ask is granted, and I could not have 
more influence if I had been a minister of State. 
Everything goes well and in conformity with the 

allied sovereigns at Frankfort. It is written at the top of a half sheet 
of notepaper, and is unsigned. 

x - 

fee. ti*t>? **** ^^ J^vi***^"*** 


[La personne qui presentera ce billet connait mes intentions on 
peut prendre confiance a ce qu'elle dira.] 


wishes of the King, who has expressed to me his great 
satisfaction." He mentioned that the manifesto was 
to appear at the end of the month, containing the 
famous warning " that the city of Paris was to be 
held responsible for the safety of the royal family 
and to be destroyed by fire and sword if they were 
harmed, non plus une plaisanterie, nous touchons au 
denouement ". 

His work seemed done, and after the departure of the 
Emperor on the iQth Mallet du Pan set out for Geneva. 
On the 25th the appearance of the Brunswick Manifesto 
showed that the instructions, the advice, the procla- 
mation itself which he had brought direct from the 
Tuileries and which he had had no small share in 
inspiring, had been disregarded and set aside. 1 The 
explanation as we now know it was simple enough. 
The more avowed representatives of the King and 
Queen, Breteuil, Fersen and Mercy Argenteau, had 
used language with regard to the employment of force 
and terror which harmonised much more readily with 
the designs of the King of Prussia and the Emigre 
princes than the more politic recommendations of the 
Genevese agent, and Calonne and Fersen had little 
difficulty in inducing the two monarchs to approve of 
a manifesto re-written, partly indeed on his lines, by 
M. de Limon, an ex-intendant of the Due d'Orl^ans, 
deep in the intrigues of the Palais Royal and of the 
emigration. The judgment of the Duke of Brunswick 

1 Bertrand de Moleville records in his Memoirs that Mallet du 
Pan received by the king's orders 2,000 ecus for his expenses, a sum 
which he characteristically refused to accept unless on condition of 
keeping an account of his disbursements and returning the surplus at 
the close of the negotiations. The account of the Mission given in 
these Memoirs is inaccurate in many particulars. 


condemned this manifesto which he modified and which 
he afterwards said he would have given his life not to 
have signed, but his essential weakness as a man of 
action was revealed when he allowed his scruples to 
be overborne by his desire to stand well with Prussia 
and the Princes. The opinion of the unfortunate King, 
most deeply concerned but least consulted in the whole 
transaction, was shown by his commands to Mallet du 
Pan to return at once to Frankfort, commands which 
he did not receive until it was too late to obey them. 

The essential point in the King's opinion as shown 
in Mallet du Pan's instructions 1 was to preserve the 
character of a foreign war waged by one Power against 
another, 2 to eliminate all idea of collusion between Louis 
XVI. and the foreign courts, to bring about as a result 
of war an arbitration between the King and the foreign 
Powers on the one hand and between the King and the 
French nation on the other. The language to be used 
was such as to inspire both terror and confidence. 
Extreme threats were to be used only against the 
extreme leaders of the Revolution who were carefully 
distinguished from the people, while stress was laid 
on the danger and injustice of confounding the less 
extreme factions with the Jacobins. Any design for 

1 This important document was printed in Prof. Smythe's Lectures 
on the French Revolution, vol. ii., and in Sayous' Life, vol. i., p. 427. 
M. Albert Sorel (L Europe et la Revolution, ii., 475 sqq. and 508 sqq.) 
gives a detailed account of the negotiations, and of Mallet's part in 
them ; as also does Mr. J. H. Clapham in his recent able and scholarly 
essay on the Causes of the War of 1792 (Cambridge, 1899), p. 210 sqq. 

2 " Le roi joint ses prieres aux exhortations pour engager les 
Princes et les Fran9ais emigres a ne point faire perdre a la guerre 
actuelle, par un concours hostile et offensif de leur part, le caractere 
de guerre etrangere, faite de Puissance a Puissance." 


the dismemberment of the kingdom was to be dis- 
claimed by the allies. Convinced that France would 
never submit to the re-establishment of the ancien 
regime and never weary of insisting on the necessity 
of recognising this fact, Mallet had urged that at least 
no form of government should be proposed for the 
country, and that the declaration should be confined 
to a simple statement that the Powers were arming for 
the re-establishment of the monarchy and the legiti- 
mate royal authority, the freedom of the King and the 
restoration of peace. They would treat only with the 
King, and after his release a general plan of restoration 
under the auspices of the Powers would be determined 
on. The language used though strong and decided 
was not violent, and there was perhaps a chance that 
the frank, vigorous and reasonable tone of such a 
document might have appealed to the better sense of 
the nation. It went at all events as far in the path 
of conciliation as the disastrous condition of things 
admitted of. 

The terms of the Brunswick Manifesto destroyed 
what little chance of success there had been in Mallet's 
mission. Some of his bases were indeed retained, but 
while the weapon of terror was freely resorted to all 
that might have inspired confidence disappeared. The 
manifesto was haughty and inflammatory in its language, 
and the threats indiscriminately levelled against all who 
had acquiesced in the Revolution were but poorly 
counterbalanced by a paragraph which extended the 
protection of the allies to those who should instantly 
concur in the re-establishment of order. As Morris 
observed it might be translated : " Be all against me for 
I am opposed to you all ; and make a good resistance 


for there is no longer any hope ! " So, indeed, it was 
understood in France in so far as it had any visible or 
serious effect (' la declaration du due de Brunswick] 
wrote a well-qualified observer to Mallet du Pan, ' ne 
fait aitcune sensation : on en rit '), and it is more than 
doubtful whether Mallet's draft, had it been adopted, 
would have had a different effect. The differences 
between the two documents, serious as they are, are 
chiefly differences of detail and manner. They agree 
in their pretension of interference in the affairs of a 
foreign State, in their appeal to one party against 
another, in their ostensible object, a restoration of the 
power of the King by means of a counter-revolution 
to be effected if necessary by force, and it is difficult 
to understand how Mallet du Pan could have persuaded 
himself that a foreign war, conducted as he had re- 
commended, would have been preferable in its results 
to a civil war, or would have averted its horrors. That 
he had been hopeful is clear from the tenor of his letters, 
and it is perhaps not unnatural that, absorbed in the 
negotiation in the success of which both the King 
and his envoy had persuaded themselves lay the only 
hope of safety, Mallet should have lost sight for the 
moment of the truth, of which no one was better aware 
than himself, that the mission was at best a desperate 
expedient to avert the worst consequences of war. That 
he was profoundly conscious of the impolicy of the 
manifesto actually issued is evident from his frequent 
references to it in after years. 1 

1 He wrote for instance in 1796: "Les allies debutent par un 
manifeste tel qu'on 1'eut ecrit sur le champ de deux victoires, et qui 
met au ban de leur jurisdiction et de leurs bayonnettes les quatre 
cinquiemes d'une nation de 24 millions d'ames" (Correspondanct 
pour seruir, etc.). 


For the moment, however, such thoughts and his 
own disappointment at the result of the negotiations 
into which he had thrown himself with so much energy 
were put aside, while he watched the development of 
the policy of force upon which the Powers were now 
embarked. There are many indications that he thought 
the military triumph of the foreign armies not improb- 
able, and his belief that a denouement in this sense was 
about to be reached was strengthened by the view 
of the imposing preparations of the allies at Frankfort. 
There is indeed little doubt that if Brunswick had con- 
ducted his campaign with vigour and determination he 
might have justified the policy of the manifesto, and 
had Paris at his feet in a few weeks. " I am persuaded," 
wrote Morris from Paris, "that he would have met 
with as much support as opposition." But unequal to 
the occasion in war as he had been in council, Bruns- 
wick threw away the chance, 1 and from his refuge at 
Geneva Mallet du Pan could only follow with growing 
consternation the disastrous repulse of the foreign in- 

1 " Le malheur du due de Brunswick fut d'avoir trop ecoute les 
emigres, il partagea leurs illusions, et la resistance inattendue qu'il 
rencontra le surprit au point de 1'intimider et de lui faire perdre con- 
tenance. A la canonnade de Valmy le 20 septembre, le due de 
Brunswick apergut la cavalerie Franchise a pied, et dont les chevaux 
non brides mangeaient encore le foin. II se retourna vers ses assis- 
tants et leur dit, ' Voyez, Messieurs, a quelles troupes nous avons a 
faire, qui attendent avec sang-froid que nous soyons sur elles pour 
raonter a cheval et nous charger ! ' Cette pensee lui fit ralentir 
1'action. Eh bien ! Ton a su depuis, avec certitude, et Dumouriez 1'a 
confirm^ a Bruxelles, que cette meme cavalerie lui avait formellement 
et obstinement resiste sur 1'ordre de monter a cheval et qu'elle tait 
decidee a se rendre aux Prussiens ! . . . Le due s'etait imagine" qu'il 
irait a Paris sans tirer un coup de fusil." (From Mallet du Pan's notes.) 


vaders, disorganised by the very engine of terror which 
was to have crushed the revolutionary leaders ; and the 
welter of events in Paris, where, in the rising of the 
loth of August organised by Danton, and the mas- 
sacres of September his "sombre acquiescence" in 
which is the one great blot on his reputation if he is to 
be judged from the plane of civilised statesmanship the 
Girondist fiction of constitutional government had dis- 
appeared. The mighty contest of the Revolution 
against Europe had in fact opened. It is one of the 
claims of Mallet du Pan to distinction that he was 
the earliest to recognise the new phase of the great 
convulsion, and that he did not hesitate to take his 
part on the wider stage of European politics with the 
same unsolicited and unrewarded devotion which he 
had displayed in the championship of the principles 
of social order in France itself. 

Meanwhile at Geneva Mallet du Pan had rejoined 
his wife and children, who had just about this time 
escaped from Paris. When he left the capital in May 

"my mother," writes her son, "actuated by considera- 
tions of duty, and in consequence of the desire felt 
by my father and his political friends on the occasion 
of his mission to Frankfort that his departure should 
be kept as quiet as possible, and that his domestic 
establishment should not be broken up, remained alone 
in Paris with her young family for nearly four months, 
during a period of the most fearful excitement. She 
afterwards set out in the diligence, then the safest 
conveyance, with her three young children and one 
maid-servant who had come with us to Paris in 1783, 
to join my father at Geneva ; and this, in August 1792 
within a month of the massacres of September. She 
left our apartments in the Rue de Tournon with the 


whole of the furniture and library in charge of a friend 
who was afterwards obligeu to fly for his life, and the 
whole was seized by the patriots and sold." * 

The son, then a boy living in Geneva with an 
uncle, goes on to give an interesting account of the 
state of things in that city : 

"The delight of being again united to my family 
far outweighed the melancholy circumstances of their 
return. We were all sanguine as to the interference of 
the foreign Powers, and the respect and consideration 
shown to my father at Geneva were particularly gratify- 
ing to us : but the storm soon thickened both far and 
near. The loth of August and the massacre of the 
Swiss Guards at Paris produced a general consternation 
in the Swiss cantons, and threw many families into 
mourning. In the month of September following, the 
French army under Montesquiou entered Savoy in 
defiance of all treaties and advanced within gunshot 
of the gates of Geneva. There were at this time a 
great number of French and Savoyard emigrants in 
the town, who were advised to remove without delay ; 
and what with the number of Savoyards who fled 
before the French, and those who were hurrying away 
from Geneva to the Pays de Vaud, such a scene of 
bustle, dismay, and confusion as was then exhibited 
can hardly be conceived. Geneva was not secure from 
a coup de main, and contained a numerous party who 
were watching their opportunity. The magistrates 
therefore decided to place the town in a state of defence, 
and to call upon the cantons of Berne and Zurich for 
the assistance to which we were entitled by treaty. 
The Government of Berne had not been looking 
passively on. The approach of the French had excited 
hopes in the Pays de Vaud which it became necessary 
to check, and some thousand hardy and faithful high- 

1 Reminiscences. 


landers from the German part of the canton were 
marched to the frontier to watch the French and the 
discontented Vaudois. One thousand of these troops 
and five hundred men from Zurich were ordered to 
Geneva, and in the meanwhile the town exhibited a 
scene of the greatest novelty and interest. The whole 
available population was armed : those that were 
already embodied in the town Militia wore their uni- 
forms ; those that were not, wore their military accoutre- 
ments over their plain clothes. A grand guard was 
mounted every day, the gates and outposts relieved, 
and all the people who were not on duty and could be 
spared from their trades and domestic occupations 
were employed in working on the ramparts. Such a 
scene had not occurred since the Massacre of St. 
Bartholomew on which occasion the town had been 
placed in a state of siege, and even the maidservants 
worked on the ramparts in the intervals of domestic 
labour! It was in the midst of these active prepara- 
tions that the Swiss Confederates arrived. The French 
village of Versoix, situated on the Swiss side of the 
lake within five miles of Geneva, interrupted the 
direct communication with Switzerland. Our allies, 
therefore, embarked at Nion, in the Pays de Vaud. 
They were met by the fleet of the Republic, consisting 
of several large barges, armed with caronades, with 
flags flying and bands playing ; and on their landing at 
the Molard (the port of Geneva), the air resounded 
with acclamations, the inhabitants crowding to the 
shore welcomed and embraced the Confederate troops 
and conducted them arm in arm to their quarters, 
singing patriotic songs all the way. I remember see- 
ing many individuals of both sexes affected to tears. 
The old Swiss spirit seemed to have revived and 
to defy all aggression ; and although more attentive 
observers might have discerned symptoms of weakness 
and irresolution in the Confederate councils, the in- 
toxicating nature of patriotic and warlike feelings left 


no room for reflection, and every heart glowed with 
the spirit of a John de Bubenberg or an Arnold de 

" Far other thoughts predominated in the minds 
of the base and revengeful Genevese who influenced 
the councils of France. Regardless of the independ- 
ence of their country and of the ties of home, they had 
caused instructions to be given to Montesquiou to show 
no mercy at Geneva. Montesquiou was a gentleman 
and a man of letters, and his sympathies were all on the 
side of the little State that had given birth to Rousseau, 
Bonnet and De Saussure. When our deputies waited 
on him, he accordingly expressed the greatest abhor- 
rence of the spirit by which Claviere and his Paris 
associates were actuated, and concluded in September 
1792 a treaty by which the neutrality of Switzerland 
was recognised. This treaty was ratified at Paris, but 
excited so much resentment among the Girondists and 
Jacobins that Montesquiou sought a refuge from these 
implacable men among the happy people from whose 
country he had warded off the scourge of war. He 
abruptly left his camp and rode to Geneva, dressed in 
his plain clothes and attended by a single aide-de-camp, 
and after communicating with some members of the 
Government took boat, and in the evening of the same 
day reached Lausanne from whence he sent his resig- 
nation to Paris. 

" Tranquillity and peace being thus apparently 
restored, the citizens returned to their several occu- 
pations and the Confederate troops left us. It was, 
however, obvious that the tide was turning. The 
French Revolution was at its height. Proselytism 
was the order of the day ; and surrounded as we now 
were on every side by the French territory, hopes 
and fears changed sides ; and the timid herd, always 
a large part of the flock, began to look to the Revolu- 
tionary party for protection." l 

1 Reminiscences. 


Spied upon by the French diplomatic agents in 
Geneva, Mallet was too marked a man to be able to 
remain there after the departure of the Swiss troops. 
Embarking accordingly with the Bernese staff he 
proceeded to Lausanne, the capital of the Pays de 
Vaud, on a visit to his friend Baron d'Erlach de 
Spietz, Bailli of Lausanne, while his wife took up her 
residence in the house of one of her relations, a Madame 
de Montaqui in the same place. 

" The Chateau de Lausanne and the Montaquis' 
house had nothing in common save their beautiful 
site. The chateau is an old baronial residence, with 
all the massive circumstances of feudal architecture ; 
the aspect of the place was altogether gloomy and 
uninviting, and I cannot say that its moral atmosphere 
was calculated to dispel those feelings. The Baron 
d'Erlach was a proud, aristocratic person, extremely 
unpopular at Lausanne. He was the head of the 
elder branch of an ancient, noble and distinguished 
family ; and the haughtiness of the oligarch was not 
softened by those domestic virtues which are often 
found to temper republican manners. His wife was 
a De Watville, another of the six noble families of 
Berne ; but there was an expression of settled melan- 
choly in her countenance which was, I fear, a true 
index to the feelings within. The Montaquis were 
the very reverse of all this : a Pays de Vaud gentle- 
man in moderate circumstances, ill-educated, fond of 
his wife and his bottle, but a ' mere lodger in his own 
house,' and leaving his wife to regulate matters as she 
pleased. The whole family did not seem to have the 
semblance of a care, and such another spot of earth as 
that on which they lived can hardly be found on this 
side of Paradise. It had been the residence of Gibbon, 
and is well known as such : a stone house with only a 
basement storey and a first floor, consisting of well- 


distributed apartments running parallel to and com- 
municating by folding doors with a terrace in a south 
aspect, planted with lime trees, and commanding a 
prospect at once the most cheerful and lovely, and the 
most sublime, that can be conceived. From the terrace 
to the lake meadows and plantations and gardens in 
all the luxuriance of vegetation ; then the deep blue 
water for about nine miles, bounded by the rocks of 
Meillerie and the receding Alps. 

" On referring to my mother's letters to my father 
during his stay next year at Brussels, I am struck with 
many circumstances which show the degree of consid- 
eration he enjoyed at that time. Baron d'Erlach and 
other persons of consequence at Lausanne, both natives 
and foreigners, assiduously sought his correspondence ; 
and copies of his letters were sent about all over the 
country. The greatest attentions were paid to my 
mother and sisters by every person of note ; and the 
Sardinian minister, in consequence of some communi- 
cation from my father interesting to his Court, made 
my mother a present of plate." l 

With Baron d'Erlach therefore who, whatever his 
domestic qualities may have been, was at all events a 
resolute and public-spirited officer and a good friend 
Mallet du Pan remained for some months, occupied 
with attempts at the Court of Sardinia where he 
had formed close relations with Mr. Trevor, British 
minister at Turin, and in other quarters even at 
Coblentz itself, 2 to inspire a policy similar to that 
which he had preached at Frankfort. To this period 
belongs his first acquaintance with two frequent 
correspondents, the young Marquis de Sales, great- 
great-nephew of St. Francois de Sales, and Count 

1 Reminiscences. 

2 Descostes, Revolution vue a Fetranger, p. 275. 


Joseph de Maistre, the latter of whom had written to 
him some months before asking his advice and assist- 
ance as to the publication of his first book. ' Qui vous 
a lu vous estime! were the first words of his letter, and 
their intercourse was agreeable to both men, though 
later events brought into relief the fundamental differ- 
ence in their political points of view. " A great bigot 
in politics," is young Mallet's comment on their new 
friend, "but a most agreeable man." 

It may be imagined that Mallet du Pan, whose 
momentary hopes had been dashed by the miserable 
fiasco of the Brunswick campaign, and who foresaw 
the inevitable result of revolutionary agitation in his 
own country, must have been looking for a settled home 
and occupation, and his thoughts seem to have turned 
to England where his friends Malouet and the Chevalier 
de Panat had taken refuge, and to Germany whence 
Montlosier was writing with offers of co-operation and 
assistance. But the execution of Louis XVI., with its 
challenge to the monarchs and peoples of the Continent 
which inaugurated a new war of principles against 
France, appealed irresistibly to his conscience as a 
publicist. Already in his last article in the Mercure 
he had insisted on the need for common and public- 
spirited action among all who desired the restoration 
of order, and he felt that with his knowledge and per- 
ception of the tendencies of the Revolution he might as 
a simple individual do something to inspire an effectual 
resistance among the members of the coalition. At 
this moment, too, the French Princes, remembering 
perhaps his confidential position to their dead Brother 
and their own disregard of his advice, seem to have 
applied for his help, as they henceforth regularly did 



whenever their own plans went most astray ; it was at 
all events a letter from Marshal de Castries proposing 
an interview that finally decided him to set out for 
Brussels. Before doing so he had addressed notes on 
the real character of the war and the revolutionary 
factions to the Kings of Prussia and Sardinia which 
were read and praised but which produced no visible 
effect, unless the agreement at this time between the 
latter and the British Government may be considered 
to have been in some measure the result of his informa- 
tion and advice. 

These notes are interesting as the first of a long 
series of diplomatic memoranda which Mallet du Pan 
continued to furnish by request to the various Govern- 
ments at war with France and which, varied by the 
occasional publication of a vigorous pamphlet, formed 
as we shall see his chief means of influence, and the 
source both of his reputation and of his support 
until his brief return to journalism at the close of his 

For Brussels, then, Mallet set out in April and 
after some fruitless wanderings in search of Marshal 
de Castries, who was continually on the move with the 
Regent, reached that city in June 1793. It was then 
the centre of political and military activity, and full of 
diplomats and statesmen intent on the campaign which 
was about to open under the Prince of Coburg. ' Ce 
nest plus la vie paisible du Chateau de Lausanne] he 
wrote to his wife (2nd July). He soon found himself 
in relation with the principal personages assembled 
there, and deep in visits, conferences, writings, and 
business of all sorts, he no longer regretted his failure 
to meet the French Princes, intercourse with whom 


as he quickly discovered would have destroyed his 
chances of usefulness with the Ministers of the allies. 
Count de Mercy Argenteau, who was still all-powerful, 
and Baron de Breteuil found his assistance of such 
value that they earnestly pressed him to remain at 
headquarters until some issue had been reached, and 
he was constantly in communication with Lord Elgin, 
the British minister, dining with him twice a week. 
He also formed a friendship with another Englishman, 
Sir John Macpherson, through whom he was presented 
to the Archduke Charles, Governor of the Netherlands, 
to become celebrated later on as the one successful 
Austrian general. The Archduke received him with 
distinction and conversed with him on public affairs, 
an opportunity of which Mallet availed himself to speak 
with a frankness to which the Prince was not accus- 
tomed, but which he flattered himself did not give 
offence. 1 His letters expressed a natural satisfaction 
at the really remarkable welcome he there found for 
his ideas and counsels, and some hopefulness of a 
favourable termination of the struggle ; while, as to his 
own future, he assured his wife that many avenues of 
useful and profitable employment were open to him. 
During these July days he made an expedition to 
witness the siege of Valenciennes, nineteen leagues 
away, visiting the camp and the trenches where he 
and his friends were regaled with cannon-balls, one of 
which passed him a few paces off through an opening 
in a battery, and he described his astonishment at the 

1 " Ce prince interessant a le jugement d'un Allemand, la pene- 
tration d'un Italien et 1'elevation, d'ame d'un Espagnol. On sait 
qu'il participe de ces trois natures, par son pere et sa mere et par sa 
naissance et son Education en Toscane " (Notes). 


spectacle of a siege of that day, with the constant 
explosion of bombs, the tintamarre of the cannon, and 
the sight of the wounded men. 

Towards the beginning of August he published, with 
the approval of the foreign representatives, a work which 
was to make a prodigious sensation, and which is still the 
best known of his writings, his Considerations on the 
Revolution. 1 The ideas and even much of the language 
of this pamphlet are familiar enough to students, but 
it must be remembered that few if any of those who 
read it in 1793 had any real notion of the character 
of the events which were taking place in France, or of 
their probable reaction on the other countries of Europe. 
Pitt himself said that before reading Mallet's pamphlet 
he had had no idea of the French Revolution. 2 With 
intuitive political sagacity, ripened by the study of 
events, Mallet du Pan had realised the essential con- 
ditions of the problem such as we know them to-day, 
while his contemporaries were still under the impression 
that the struggle against the Revolution was an ordin- 
ary international war to be conducted on the usual 
lines. In order to rouse Europe to a sense of the 
dangers of this course it was necessary to describe 
(a task which Mallet du Pan always performed with the 
hand of a master) the varying aims of the revolutionary 
factions, their contests, 3 and the emergence of the only 
one which could be properly termed a party, that ' fac- 

1 Considerations sur la nature de la Revolution de France et sur 
les causes qui en prolongent la duree, Brussels, 1793. It had a large 
circulation in several editions, and was translated into English. 

2 See Memoirs of Malouet, vol. ii., p. 502. 

3 The phrase " a 1'exemple de Saturne la Revolution devore ses 
enfants " occurs in this pamphlet. 


tion atroce ' whose objects were the establishment of 
the Republic, the absolute levelling of rank and fortunes, 
and the subversion of social order. He had to trace 
the steps by which, with the assistance of the emigres l 
and the Brunswick manifesto, Jacobinism had become 
identified with militarism/' 2 ' Ilfaut incendier les quatre 
coins de Europe] Brissot had proclaimed, ' notre salut 
est la' The threat was no empty one; the Revolu- 
tion had become cosmopolitan, 8 and to meet such a 
movement it was necessary to appeal to the public 

1 The Revolution owes the horrible character it has assumed 
during the last year " a cette emigration systematique qui separa le 
monarque de ses defenseurs, le royaume des royalistes, les proprietes 
des proprietaires, un parti de ses partisans, . . . a ce torrent de 
promesses et de menaces impuissantes repandues par d'aveugles 
ecrivains, et qui, en fournissant aux Jacobins des pretextes de crimes 
et des instruments de domination, avaient use le ressort de la crainte 
lorsque 1'armee alliee se presenta sur les frontieres, . . . au concours 
de 1' emigration avec 1'intervention des etrangers, . . . et a 1'eclat des 
divisions qui partageaient les royalistes. Enfin cette guerre exterieure 
si desiree vint achever la revolution qu'elle devait aneantir." 

2 " Peu de gens observent que par sa nature destructive la Re"- 
volution amene necessairement la republique militaire. Supprimer 
les ateliers, les chantiers, la navigation, la bourse et les metiers, c'est se 
cre*er une pepiniere d'instruments de crimes au dedans, et de regiments 
pour le dehors. . . . 

" La revolution et la guerre sont inseparables, elles ont une tige 

3 " Chaque Europeen est aujourd'hui partie dans ce dernier combat 
de la civilisation, nous avons corps et biens sur le vaisseau entr'ouvert, 
or, a la veille du naufrage on ne peut 

Laisser la crainte au pilote, 
Et la manoeuvre aux matelots. 

Tout homme a le droit de montrer ses inquietudes ; la Revolution e"tant 
pour ainsi dire cosmopolite, elle cesse d'appartenir aux Fran?ais exclu- 


opinion of Europe ; to enlist in the cause of defence 
the moral weapons of the aggressor, 1 enthusiasm, self- 
interest, belief in the cause, single-minded concentra- 
tion on the struggle ; to point out the objects of the 
Jacobin leaders, 2 the feebleness of the methods by 
which they had hitherto been opposed, and the inevit- 
able and fatal results of half-hearted resistance on 
both France and Europe. Even more interesting is 
the recognition shown by the author of the underlying 
causes of revolution, 3 and his frank condemnation of 
plans of counter-revolution, " a phrase which prudence 
should have proscribed " and which had given more 
arms to the Republic than the tricolour cockade. Those 
ultra- Royalists who uttered the terrible cry, ' Tout ou 
Rien? had merely dictated a war-cry to their enemies, 4 
for the Jacobin conquest, invasion of barbarism though 
it might be as he himself had portrayed it, was yet 
founded on the genuine and universal unpopularity of 

1 " D'abord on aper?oit qu'outre les instruments communs a toutes 
les Puissances, savoir : les canons, les soldats, et 1'argent ou ce qui le 
re'presente, la Convention de Paris met a ses ordres . . . tous les 
prestiges de 1'opinion, 1'energie de 1'enthousiasme, les fascinations de 
la plume et de la parole, les passions qui ont le plus d'empire sur le 
coeur humain, etc." 

2 " De meme que le Mammon du Paradis perdu a les yeux toujours 
fixes sur le parvis d'or de la demeure celeste, la Convention a ses 
griffes dresse*es sur les proprie'te's publiques et privies de 1'etranger." 

8 " Une revolution est essentiellement un deplacement de pouvoir, 
lequel s'opere necessairement toutes les fois que 1'ancien pouvoir n'a 
plus de force de prote"ger la chose publique, ou le courage de se 
protdger lui-meme." 

4 "Je proteste au nom de tous les vrais Royalistes centre une 
profession dont la publicite en France equivaudrait a la perte de deux 
batailles, immortaliserait la Revolution, et creerait aux Puissances 
plus de difficultes et de dangers que tous les clubs des tyrannicides." 


the old monarchy, its agents and its accessories. These 
last were gone for ever, and many were the interests 
created by their fall which bound great classes of the 
population to resist their restoration. The Revolution 
had its roots in opinion and in sentiment, in the sufferings 
of the masses, in the growing inequality of conditions ; 
it could not be met and combated by war alone ('jamais 
des canons ne tuerent des sentiments ') ; without moral 
domination it had become impossible to govern men. 
The submission which alone was to be desired could 
spring only from force and persuasion united, 1 and 
those who aspired to crush the savage anarchy of the 
Revolution must take pains to disabuse the French 
people of the idea that the Powers were leagued to- 
gether in the interests of despotism, and that, having 
brought about a counter-revolution by force, they would 
maintain it by the gallows and plunge again into 
slavery a nation already too much punished for having 
mistaken the nature of true freedom. If, he ventured 
to say, the cause of the allies was merely the cause of 
the Monarchs, as the actions and speeches of the Princes 
and emigre's too loudly proclaimed, the Revolution would 
indeed be indestructible. 2 If the revolutionary principle, 
was to be crushed it would be necessary to remember 

1 " Toutes les Revolutions offrent un melange d'enthousiasme, de 
me'chancetd et de faiblesse. L'art de les combattre consiste done 
a subjuguer la mechancete", a desenchanter 1'enthousiasme, et a fournir 
une egide a la faiblesse." 

Again : " Ah, lorsqu'on pretend a conduire les hommes il faut 
prendre la peine d'etudier le coeur humain, de diriger ses penchants, 
d'eclairer ses determinations ". 

2 " On a trop souvent et trop follement repete que c'e*tait ici la 
cause des Rois ; ce propos d'antichambre a passe de la bouche des 
courtisans dans celle des anarchistes." 


that it was a conspiracy against the rights of nations 
even more than in favour of the rights of man, and 
that the elements of reaction and resistance to internal 
tyranny, which were surely gaining strength in France, 
could not be conciliated by a pedantic adherence to 
the worn-out formulae of despotic royalism. 

Such in the baldest outline were some of the points 
of this powerful appeal to the public opinion of the 
Continent, written with the ' fer rouge ' which, as its 
author said, was necessary to excite any sensation. A 
sensation it certainly did produce, ' un inconcevable 
vacarme ' as he described it, among the emigre society 
to whom his solemn, perhaps too harsh, warnings had 
been addressed, and whose attacks he had anticipated 
in an eloquent vindication of his right to speak in the 
interests of true royalism : 

" I have spoken more than once in their name," he 
had written, " and they have never disavowed me. Al- 
though a foreigner and a republican I have acquired 
the rights of a Royalist at the price of four years spent 
without any reasonable certainty on going to bed that I 
should awake to liberty or to life, of three arrests of my 
person, of one hundred and fifteen denunciations, of the 
seal twice put upon my papers, of four ' civic assaults ' 
on my house, of the confiscation of all my property in 
France. Thus have I acquired the rights of a Royalist, 
and since nothing remains to be gained by that title 
but the guillotine, I imagine that no one will be 
tempted to dispute it with me." 

" La cohue des emigre's," he tells his wife, " pous- 
sait des cris de fureur. Groupes au Pare, comme 
les Jacobins au Palais Royal, 2 ou 300 e"cervele"s en 
collet ou en croix ne parlaient que de me pendre apres 
la contre-re"volution. . . . Cette nouvelle esclandre 
faillit les faire chasser tous. Depuis dix jours toutes 


les societes sont aux prises sur ma miserable brochure. 
Les femmes disputent pour ou contre avec fureur. . . . 
Montlosier a dt terrible ; sa chaude amiti^ 1'a porte sur 
la breche en toutes armes." 

That the Princes, who had not been taken into 
confidence on the publication, shared the sentiments of 
their followers was shown by the uneasy inquiries of 
Marshal de Castries as to its tendency, and by Mallet's 
reply in which he defended his action and characterised 
in strong terms the " transports of men deranged by 
adversity, who had learnt from it no lessons, no ideas, 
no notion of anything ". Attacks and disapproval, how- 
ever, he could face with equanimity in view of the 
favourable judgment of the statesmen and representa- 
tives of the Powers. The Archduke Charles summoned 
him to his court, where he received the solemn thanks 
of Mercy Argenteau and Metternich on behalf of their 
Governments ; and in London the book was eagerly 
read, Lord Elgin writing that he had had many con- 
versations with Ministers about it and that Burke, in 
spite of his reactionary opinions, had rather to his sur- 
prise spoken of it with enthusiasm and described it as 
the best thing which had appeared on the Revolution. 1 

All personal preoccupations, however, were soon 
swallowed up by the painful interest of the campaign 
which had opened so brilliantly for the allies in the 
early spring by the victory of Neerwinden, the defec- 

a Lord Lansdowne in a speech, lyth February 1794, read to the 
House of Lords several passages from the Considerations with the 
object of proving that in the opinion even of sensible aristocrats force 
alone could never deal with the Revolution. The use of this argu- 
ment, however, as one in favour of making peace was not at all in 
accordance with the views of Mallet du Pan. 


tion of Dumouriez, and the reconquest of Belgium by 
the Prince of Coburg, but which was to close in gloom 
with the first successes of Hoche on the Rhine and of 
Bonaparte at Toulon. "Everything is still uncertain," 
wrote Mallet on 2Oth August, "it is impossible to 
explain the conduct of the Prince of Coburg ... a 
more active and enterprising leader is a necessity." 
The internal condition of France had offered a real 
chance of success to the allies. The decree of Frater- 
nisation (i5th December 1792) which changed the 
policy of France from one of mere propaganda to 
one of conquest, the execution of Louis XVI., and the 
organisation of a mighty engine of government in the 
committees of the Convention, had indeed given in- 
calculable strength to the revolutionary movement by 
destroying all probability of compromise. But for many 
months the actual as apart from the potential strength 
of France was non-existent, the armies which were to 
overrun Europe were in embryo, and with the succes- 
sive disgrace, recall or execution of Dumouriez, Custine, 
Biron, and Beauharnais, France was left for the moment 
without generals ; while civil war had broken out in 
many parts of the country, in the Gironde, in Lyons, 
and in Marseilles. Both from Belgium and from the 
Rhine the march of the allied armies on Paris could, 
during the earlier months of the year, have met with 
no effective resistance, but their successes were confined 
to the siege and capture of Valenciennes and Mayence ; 
all opportunities were lost, and by the end of the year 
the tide had decisively turned in favour of the revolu- 
tionary forces. From the beginning of the war Mallet 
du Pan had pointed out that two courses only were 
possible, either to penetrate into France by the first 


breach, as Brunswick had tried to do in 1792, or to 
pursue a temporising policy by capturing the frontier 
fortresses, which was Coburg's plan in 1 793. Neither 
course had been followed with intelligence and deter- 
mination, and both failed. Coburg's policy could only 
have been successful had it been accompanied by 
measures to prevent the formation of organised hostile 
forces and to support the anti-revolutionary revolts 
in France. The suppression by the Convention of the 
movements in Lyons, in the Calvados, in Marseilles 
and in Bordeaux were events, as Mallet pointed out, 
more disastrous for the allies than would have been the 
loss of Valenciennes, Mayence and Belgium. But the 
military and political faults of the campaign were, after 
all, merely the symptom of more deep-seated evil. To 
the sovereigns and ministers of Europe, the character 
of the Revolution, the condition of France, even the 
cause of the French monarchy, were all considerations 
of minor importance compared with the separate selfish 
interests of the Powers ; and the great coalition, under- 
mined by intrigue and jealousy, was even then tottering 
to its fall. Its success had depended on the joint 
action of Austria and Prussia, and the two Powers 
were already hopelessly estranged. Their alliance 
had meant checkmate to Russia ; and the Empress 
Catherine, by attacking Poland, threw down the apple 
of discord between them by tempting Prussia to claim 
her share. The Treaty of St. Petersburg (23rd Jan- 
uary), which partitioned Poland between Russia and 
Prussia, drove Austria into antagonism, and thence- 
forward her principal efforts under Thugut, who be- 
came in March chief of the Austrian Foreign Office 
and to whom, as the Prussian historian has said, France 


owes her victory in the revolutionary war and Austria 
her present position in Europe, were directed to- 
wards securing compensation for herself in Alsace and 
negotiating the exchange of Belgium for Bavaria. 
Renouncing the vigorous prosecution of the war by 
the aid of Prussia, herself intent on Polish intrigue, 
Austria turned to England, and sought to secure her 
adhesion to the Bavarian exchange by supporting the 
English view of the general character of the objects of 
the war, that of resistance to French encroachment 
without interference with French internal affairs. 

Such were the secret plans and intrigues of the 
courts during Mallet's stay at Brussels. Towards the 
end of August he addressed a second note to Lords 
Grenville and Elgin, which the latter assured him had 
made a proper impression on Mr. Pitt and Lord 
Grenville, pointing out that the failure to support the 
counter-revolutionary movement in France would cer- 
tainly result in the consolidation of the Government of 
the Convention. Soon afterwards Mallet du Pan left 
Brussels and rejoined his family at Berne, where he had 
determined to settle availing himself of his rights as 
a Combourgeois de Berne of residence and protection 
in the Canton. 

The chief work of Mallet du Pan's remaining years 
until his brief return to journalism at the close of his 
life was to be that of unofficial adviser or "consulting 
physician " to the various Governments at war with 
the Revolution. It will therefore be necessary to follow 
his opinions in the confidential diplomatic memoranda 
which he furnished to the British Cabinet through 
Lord Grenville, Lord Elgin, and Mr. Wickham ; to 
Counts Colleredo and Mercy Argenteau, to the Duke 


of Brunswick and the emigre Princes of France, to 
the Kings of Sardinia, Prussia and Spain ; and finally 
in a regular political correspondence which he was 
shortly asked to undertake for the Emperor Francis 
as well as for the Prussian and Portuguese courts. 
It was not a form of public activity which he would 
naturally have chosen for himself, for his experience 
as a negotiator had not been encouraging, the gift 
of expression which made him a power with the 
public was wasted upon officials, and he was wanting 
in the pliancy and suavity which are perhaps essen- 
tial in diplomacy. Both from the point of view of 
his personal interests and his literary reputation, he 
would probably have done better to have availed him- 
self, failing journalism, of some opportunity of private 
employment which would have left him leisure for 
studies on the history of his times. But though letters 
and journalism were his chosen vocation he was essenti- 
ally a man of action, and the demand for assistance 
addressed to him from so many quarters was, for a man 
of his strongly political instincts, too imperious to be 

The secret history of the period teems indeed with 
intrigue, and many were the agents and writers, 
worthy and unworthy, 1 who tendered their advice. 

*The so-called Comte d'Entraigues whose notes figure in the 
last volume of the Dropmore Papers was one of the "Jacobins 
d'aristocratie " whose violence and intrigues were most harmful to 
the royal cause. Mallet, in a note for Louis XVIII., urged on one 
occasion the expulsion of the "nue"e d'emissaires, de ministres ambu- 
lants, de cerveaux timbres, de legats qui affluent partout, les uns avec 
des brevets de S.M., les autres avec les patentes de M. le Prince de 
Conde, les troisiemes avec des commissions britanniques, se croisant 
en tous les sens, racontant leurs missions aux tables d'hote, et jetant 


Mallet du Pan is honourably distinguished from most 
of these men whom he described as ' ces entrepreneurs 
de centre-revolution a deux cents francs par mois\ It 
would be wrong to exaggerate the influence of a simple 
publicist in matters of high state policy, and no one 
was more conscious than he of the absurdity attaching 
to any such pretension, or of the futility of his own 
whole-hearted efforts to enforce a true view of the situ- 
ation. "It would be ridiculous," he said, "for a man of 
sense to usurp the rdle of preceptor to Governments 
without being called upon to do so." But the fact 
remains that though his advice was not, perhaps could 
not, be followed it was eagerly sought, that his opinions 
recommended themselves to many of those best qualified 
at the time to judge of the situation to be confronted, 
and that they are now recognised as statesmanlike by 
the best students and historians of the epoch. He stood 
out among the secret agents of the time as a man who 
had taken an open, courageous and consistent line on 
the questions at issue, and his devoted efforts on behalf 
of Louis XVI. and that King's well-known sympathy 
with and confidence in his opinions the Comte d' Artois 
on one occasion himself recalling ' combien il etait 
opinione par mon vertueux Frere ' gave him authority 
with all sections of royalists. His visit to Brussels 
had made him acquainted with and trusted by many 
of the most influential statesmen of the coalition, and 
his pamphlet on the Revolution had for the first time 
given him a European celebrity. Above all, he hap- 
pened to be a man of the character and intelligence 

sur la cause royale une defaveur, une confusion, un mepris qui ecartent 
absolument toutes les personnes raisonnables ". The British Foreign 
Office naturally fell an easy prey to such adventurers. 


which always carry weight, and especially in times of 
stress and crisis. But explain it as we may, it is a 
remarkable circumstance, and one probably without 
exact parallel, that a private person, a political writer 
belonging to a small neutral State and destitute of any 
powerful political connection, should have been enabled 
and encouraged to assume the position described. 

No sooner was Mallet du Pan settled in his new 
home than he furnished at Lord Elgin's request two 
more lengthy reports, dated respectively in November 
1793 and February I794, 1 on the condition of France 
and the policy of the allies. In the first of these papers 
he traces the character and successive developments 
of the Revolution, he points out how the war itself had 
created in France (as he had in 1791 prophesied it 
would) a Government of such a nature that any idea of 
coming to terms with it was chimerical, and he dis- 
cusses, in the spirit which now became habitual with him 
of resolute opposition to the timidity of half measures 
and compromises, the means by which alone it could 
be combated by the Powers. It is scarcely fanciful to 
trace, in the language used by Pitt and Grenville in 
defending the policy of the war against the eloquence of 
Sheridan, Fox and Lansdowne, during the memorable 
debates of the session of 1794, the arguments of this 
powerful memorandum. 

The second paper, written at the moment of 
Robespierre's supremacy, is one of the most remark- 

1 These memoranda are printed almost in extenso by Sayous, 
and they have been brought to the notice of English readers in Mr. 
Oscar Browning's publication of Lord Gower's despatches (without an 
attribution to Mallet du Pan) and more recently in the third volume 
of the Dropmore Papers. 


able historical fragments penned by Mallet du Pan. It 
is true, unfortunately for posterity, that he was not 
a personal witness of the Reign of Terror, that the 
" physician was not at his patient's side," nor had he as 
yet organised the machinery for supplying himself with 
information which served him so well in his accounts of 
the Directory ; but he declares his complete confidence 
in the accuracy of the communications upon which he 
relied, and to procure which he was authorised to spare 
no expense. The result is a piece of description such 
as a Foreign Office seldom has the pleasure to receive, 
and which can have left no excuse on the score of 
ignorance or illusion in the minds of the ministers who 
read it. Beginning with the machinery of the new 
Government, he shows how everything centred in the 
Committee of Public Safety which, with its thousands of 
agents and its system of denunciation, disposed despot- 
ically both of the armies and of the lives and property 
of the citizens ; which had reduced the Ministers to the 
position of its clerks, and the Convention to sanctioning 
its decisions as a ' machine a dkcrets '. " Thanks to their 
knowledge of the human heart " these new tyrants had 
assumed the whole apparatus of despotism, carriages 
with six horses, body guards, sumptuous tables, actors 
and courtesans. Not satisfied with dazzling, they had 
struck terror into the people. No one save themselves 
might write or speak. There were 18,000 suspects in 
the prisons of Paris. The whole people was disarmed. 
In a masterly account of the finances, Mallet shows the 
immense resources which the committee had created for 
themselves, not only by the suppression of many great 
sources of ordinary expenditure, but also by the quadru- 
pling of extraordinary revenues by means of the assignats 


and the forced loan of one milliard, by the sale of the 
national domains many times repeated, by the maximum 
law, and by requisitions permanentes such as the confisca- 
tion of the treasures of the churches, of gold and silver 
belonging to individuals, of the furniture of emigres, of the 
spoils of revolted towns, and of the property of the four 
hundred persons guillotined every week, who were chosen 
as far as possible from among the wealthy or among those 
even of their own employees who had been allowed to 
enrich themselves. The Republic was in fact richer 
than all the sovereigns of the coalition put together. 
No less masterly is the analysis of the military forces 
of France and of the means by which fanatical hatred 
against the enemies of the Republic was stimulated by 
the dictators. No reliance could be placed on the 
supposed discontent of the army, nor on the fable that 
famine would bring the country to its knees. The 
Jacobins were openly advocating massacres to diminish 
the consumption of their nicely calculated supplies of 
food, and sooner than yield they would butcher their 
prisoners, their women and their old men, as useless 
mouths. Neither was there any hope of a re-awakening 
of public feeling in spite of the general detestation 
of the Convention, the Jacobins and the Committees. 
The great mass had no will of their own ; " they are 
like the negro who strangles himself with his tongue 
sooner than complain ". The Jacobin conquest was 
in fact the triumph of a minority. It has been 
attempted to estimate the numerical strength of the 
revolutionary mob in Paris, and the highest calcula- 
tions have put it at 16,000 out of a population of 
600,000 souls. Certain it is that at the election of 
Bailly's successor as Mayor of Paris, the Jacobin vote 



of 6,600 out of a total of 80,000 voters was sufficient 
to carry the day, and subsequent municipal elections 
gave like results. The composition of the rank and 
file was even more insignificant than their numerical 
strength, and the analyses of the police have shown 
that the number of the enrages was swelled by domestic 
servants, the lowest class of workmen, and the residuum 
of the population ; beggars living from hand to mouth, 
and adventurers from all parts of France and Europe. 
The abolition of the property qualification on the loth 
of August 1792 gave them complete mastery of the 
forty-eight sections of Paris, the assemblies which were 
the chief means of carrying out the orders issued by 
the clubs and committees of the Jacobin leaders. 
These assemblies were attended by the bravos of 
every quarter, the meetings were held at night to 
keep away respectable citizens, and those who attended 
were treated with personal violence, the Jacobins in 
default of other arms breaking up the furniture and 
carrying their resolutions by force. The indifference 
of the middle classes, intensely conservative as they 
have always been, was even exceeded by their timidity. 
With the Reign of Terror the craven majority had 
sunk into a still deeper apathy : - 

"The patience," wrote Mallet du Pan a year later, 1 
"with which the French have for fifteen months toler- 
ated a system of imprisonment en masse and the judicial 
assassination of hundreds by wholesale, convicts the 
nation of a moral turpitude which renders them fit 
subjects for any kind of oppression. In all that long 
period of murder not a son dared to avenge the 
execution of his father, not a husband ventured to 

1 On 2Qth April 1795, Correspondence for Vienna, i., 188. 


defend his wife, not a father to rescue his child, in a 
country where swords would once have leapt from their 
scabbards for the sake of a mistress or an epigram." 

The most vivid pages of the report to Lord Elgin 
are those which describe with all the power inspired 
by the writer's inborn loathing for iniquity the eleven 
members (one place was vacant) of the Committee of 
Public Safety. The worst of them was the ex-actor 
Collot d'Herbois, the image of an oriental tyrant with 
all the qualities of the Tiberius of Tacitus. The 
monster who had massacred four thousand citizens in 
five weeks is painted with his impassive ferocity, his 
profound dissimulation, his theatrical declamations, his 
ambition, his cupidity, his jealousy, in terms which 
make the reader shudder. His was the atrocious 
utterance when ordering to instant execution a young 
man just proved innocent of the offence with which 
he was charged : " If we spare the innocent too many 
guilty ones will escape ". The estimate of Robespierre, 
however, the scape-goat of the Revolution as Bonaparte 
called him, is perhaps of more general interest : 

"He has never been and will never be capable of 
sustaining the stupendous part he has undertaken ; som- 
bre, suspicious, distrusting his best friends, fanatical, 
vindictive and implacable, his life is the image of that 
of Pygmalion, King of Tyre, such as Fdnelon depicted 
him. To-day he is haggard, with hollow eyes and livid 
face, with restless and savage looks, and a countenance 
bearing the impress of crime and remorse. Tormented 
with terror he is always escorted by three chosen sans- 
culottes armed to the teeth who accompany him in his 
carriage ; returning to his beggarly abode he shuts 
himself and barricades himself within it, and opens the 
door only with the most extreme precautions. If he 


dines out it is never without laying his two pistols 
on the table one on each side of his plate, no servant 
may stand behind his chair, he partakes of no dish 
without one of the guests having eaten of it before him, 
he casts troubled and suspicious glances on all around 
him. . . . The simplicity of his tastes, his abstinence, 
his distaste for pleasure, and the well-founded opinion 
of his disinterestedness, have made and maintain his 
popular favour. He has not an kcu, and his incorrupti- 
bility is in striking contrast with the rapacity of his 
colleagues. Living on his salary as a deputy he saves 
from his domestic expenditure in order to maintain a 
shabby carriage which he thinks necessary for his 
safety, and which in order to avoid the appearance of 
luxury he has had numbered like a public conveyance." 

As for the accusation ot aspiring to a dictatorship, 
Robespierre aspired to remaining master less from 
ambition than from fear. " Fear is the foundation 
and mainspring of his character." His power was 
in the tyranny of the Committee which, with its un- 
limited power over their lives and fortunes, froze with 
terror the hearts of the citizens. Robespierre, too, could 
answer a mother pleading for the life of her son after 
listening to her with face of iron : " Citoyenne, I have 
the power to punish, but I know not how to pardon ". 
But he was hardly the "tiger drunk with blood," the 
monster beyond the pale of humanity, so often described ; 
his cruelty sprang from the desire of domination, and 
that desire from the knowledge that his fall meant 
death. It was indeed to preserve their lives, and as 
a secondary motive to preserve their empire, that 
Robespierre and his committee grasped at omnipo- 
tence. One day in the autumn of 1793 Danton and 
Robespierre were consulted by a woman of their 


acquaintance on a plan she had formed for leaving 
the country. " Fly at once," they told her, "we would 
we could follow you. It will not be long before we 
are butchering one another and France will be a 
torrent of blood." 1 The allies were warned that they 
must not count on the weakness of these terrible foes. 
Warring indeed among themselves they were united 

1 The following is an account from the private note-book of the 
execution of Marie Antoinette ; according to Mallet du Pan's informa- 
tion, repeated also in another place, she was already dead before the 
guillotine fell. After describing the preparations he writes : "Cette 
infortunee Princesse soutint cet horrible appareil et la traversee im- 
mense avec serenite, regardant la foule avec indifference. Mais 
arrivee au bout de la Rue Royale, lorsqu'elle apercut la Place de 
la Revolution, la foule, 1'echaffaud ; le souvenir de son mariage ou 
celui de la mort du Roi 1'a opprime (?) de saisissement. L'opinion 
generate est qu'elle expira. Arrivee a la guillotine, les bourreaux furent 
obliges de la prendre et de la porter sur le bane, elle n'avait plus 
de sentiment. L'un des bourreaux dit meme a quelques scelerats qui 
lui reprochaient de la porter : Eh ne voyez-vous pas qu'elle a deja 
passe ? " Those who remember David's terrible and moving sketch of 
the Queen seated in the tumbril will have no difficulty in believing 
this story. 

" Personne n'est mort," he writes, "avec plus de fermete, de 
grandeur d'ame, de fierte que le due d'Orleans ; il redevint prince 
du sang. Lorsqu'on lui demanda, au tribunal revolutionnaire, s'il 
n'avait rien a dire pour sa defense, il repondit : ' Mourir aujourd'hui 
plutot que demain, deliberez la-dessus.' Cela fut accorde. . . ." 

The following story illustrates the gaiety with which some met 
their fate. The Chevalier du Barry, led out to the guillotine, remarked 
to his fellow victims with a laugh, " Le bourreau sera bien attrape 
lorsqu'il viendra me prendre par les cheveux, car mon toupet lui 
restera a la main ! . . . Jamais Biron ne fut plus beau que sur la 
charrette. ..." Custine on the other hand " se defendit avec talent 
et mourut en enfant," while Herault de Sechelles, sure that he would 
not escape, went every day for six weeks to witness the executions in 
order to familiarise himself with the idea ! 


by the most powerful of all motives, fear of their 
enemies within and without. Their lives depended 
on their supremacy, and this again depended on their 
success in prosecuting the war, in keeping the generals 
and their troops at a distance from the scene of the 
struggle of factions, and in supporting them by the 
devastation of adjoining countries. 

Mallet du Pan's description of the internal condition 
of France was doubtless accepted as authentic. But 
his counsels as to combating the designs of the Con- 
vention fell upon deaf ears. He had repeated them, 
as he said, till they had become commonplaces, and if 
the lessons of history and of recent experience had 
taught nothing to the generals and ministers of the 
coalition, the phrases of an obscure adviser could not 
be expected to influence them. When he appealed 
for a common sentiment of passionate resistance to an 
anti-national and anti -social propaganda as the only 
force which could meet and overthrow it, he showed 
indeed true insight into the problem. But he was 
appealing to a sentiment which was not called into 
existence on the Continent till fifteen years of humilia- 
tion and disaster had passed over Europe. When he 
pointed out that the despotism of the Committee, while 
it supplied for the moment an unnatural strength to 
the French onslaught, yet carried within it the seed 
of dissolution ; when he showed how the active inter- 
vention of the immense number of French exiles of all 
classes which had been a grave mistake in 1792 might 
now, if properly directed, rally the bulk of the nation 
against the Jacobin rule and how fatal was the neglect 
to support the revolts in La Vendee and the great cities 
of the South, he was only insisting on the essential 


facts of the situation. But he was assuming what was 
far from being the case, that the interest and desire 
of the allied statesmen were to terminate the Revolution 
by the re-establishment of order in France. The same 
remark is true of his repeated advice to the Powers, 
and their studied neglect of it, to renounce their terms 
of absolutism and their exclusive patronage of the 
Princes and rebels, to abandon their talk of the ancien 
regime, of the orders, of systems of government, 
and to dwell instead on the interests and misfortunes 
of the French nation as a whole. It was fruitless to 
preach concerted military measures to Powers, each 
bent, so far as they were seriously bent on the war 
at all, on securing territorial compensation for itself 
rather than on combating the Revolution. 1 But the 
truth was that by this time their increasing preoccupa- 
tion with Eastern affairs, the designs of Catherine on 
Constantinople, the revolt in Poland and the impending 
fresh partition of that country, and the consequent 
estrangement between Prussia and Austria, had taken 
all heart out of the war with France ; and that England 
alone, when other Powers were longing for the end, 
England which had entered with reluctance on the war, 
was at last beginning to realise its true character. But 
England had no resources with which to conduct a 
continental campaign ; she could act only by means 
of exhortations and subsidies, and events moved too 
quickly for her parliamentary and diplomatic methods. 
For France had at last found leaders in war with 

1 " Quant a moi, milord, je n'h6site pas a vous avouer que dans 
cette position oil vous combattriez la France et subsidiairement la 
Revolution vous manqueriez la Revolution et la France." (To Lord 


Carnot at headquarters and Pichegru, Jourdan and 
Moreau at the front, and 1794 was to repeat on a 
greater scale the disasters of 1 793. The close of this 
year, which witnessed the fall of Robespierre and of 
the Committee of Public Safety (Thermidor 9, 1794), 
left France satiated with and exhausted by triumphs 
greater than any which had crowned her arms under 
the old monarchy, and Europe in a situation which 
justified the darkest apprehensions for her future. 

Not only were the French delivered from all danger 
of foreign invasion, but Holland and Belgium had 
fallen into the hands of France ; Sweden, Tuscany, 
and Sardinia had already treated with the Republic ; 
Spain and Prussia were about to be added to the list 
of neutral Powers, and the most important German 
State, after Austria, had already betrayed the Empire 
and agreed to the cession of the left bank of the Rhine 
at the general peace. The whole course of the French 
war up to the final partition of Poland in 1795 was 
governed by the vicissitudes of intrigue in the East, 
and the result was to leave the field clear for the 
machinations of the only great potentates of Europe, 
Catherine of Russia and the Jacobin Government of 
France. Well might Burke exclaim, in criticising the 
selfish policy of the allies, that there could be no honour 
in a society for pillage ! 

i8 5 




IT was at this moment 1 that Mallet du Pan, addressing 
the Emperor Francis in words which read almost like 
a satire on the motives of German statesmanship, as 
the "pillar of social order, the most solid support at 
this crisis of religion, of civil authority and of the 
common weal," sought to oppose the conclusion of a 
premature and dangerous peace by pointing out that 
the recognition of the Republic would reanimate the 
waning authority of the Jacobins in France, that it 
would morally dethrone the governments of the coali- 
tion, and be a patent of insurrection to the peoples. 
The words just quoted are taken from the open- 
ing sentences of a regular political correspondence 2 

1 28th December 1794. 

2 Correspondance in'edite de Mallet du Pan avec la cour de Vienne 
(1794-98), publiee d'aprh les Manuscrits conserves aux Archives de 

Vienne, par Andre Michel ; avec une PreTace de M. Taine, in 
2 vols., Paris, 1884. This correspondence consists of 136 letters, 
addressed week by week directly to the Emperor Francis from 
28th December 1794 to 26th February 1798. It was paid for and 
was, writes Mallet du Pan's son, with the similar series of letters for 
the Portuguese minister at Turin and the court of Berlin, " our sole 


which Mallet du Pan had been requested to undertake 
for the court of Vienna, and which formed during 
the ensuing four years his principal occupation. At 
the same time Baron Hardenberg l and M. de Souza 
Cotinho 2 applied on behalf of their sovereigns, the 

dependence ; yet to my father's honour, be it said, it is distinguished 
throughout by that fearlessness of opinion and manly tone which 
characterises his public writings." 

1 " On the occasion of the peace concluded at Bale between 
France and Prussia, in 1791, he felt much offended with Baron 
Hardenberg, who had expressed a uniform acquiescence in his 
opinions, and yet concluded the treaty of Bale without the least 
intimation to my father of any change in his own views and policy. 
My father wrote him a dignified letter, breaking off their corre- 
spondence, which was, however, subsequently renewed at the earnest 
and pressing solicitation of the minister himself, and their mutual 
friend, General Heymann " (Reminiscences). This correspondence 
exists in the archives of Berlin, but has never been published. 

2 " Don Roderigo de Souza Cotinho Count of Linhares, the 
Maecenas of botany and indeed of general science at this period, 
was the Portuguese minister at Turin. At his table was a weekly 
assembly of literary men, in whose conversation and pursuits he bore 
a very intelligent part, always making himself completely one of the 
company by his knowledge and enthusiasm no less than by his 
enlivening affability. Mr. T. H. Jackson, son of the musical 
composer, who was then our charge d'affaires at Turin, and a clever 
man himself, says in a letter to his father, of 2ist March, 1787, in 
speaking of M. de Souza, ' besides being a man of the first rank in his 
own country, he is one of the best informed and most learned men I 
ever met anywhere ' " (Reminiscences). This correspondence remains 
in the Lisbon archives. M. Fran9ois Descostes recently discovered 
in the Chateau de Sales near Anne"cy, the seat of the descendants of 
the Marquis de Sales Mallet du Pan's friend and correspondent, 
copies of the earlier portion of it which was addressed to Turin (from 
December 1796 it was addressed to Souza Cotinho at Lisbon) ; 
and published the letters in an interesting but somewhat discursive 
volume entitled La Revolution Franfaise vue de fetranger (Tours : A. 


Kings of Prussia and Portugal, for a similar corre- 
spondence. He gladly embraced these offers. His 
previous experience had well fitted him for the post 
of "minister in partibus" to the threatened Mon- 
archies. He had already, as we have seen, been much 
consulted by the leading ministers of the allied Powers. 
His means of information had always been exception- 
ally great. The organisation of the "Intelligence 
Department," which, as we have seen, he had formed 
in France during his editorship of the Mercure, he 
had kept up on leaving France in 1792 ; he was now 
able to extend it by funds specially provided for the 
purpose, and internal evidence reveals the nature of 
his sources of information. 1 Letters of the Baron de 
Stael, of Barthelemy, of other influential personages 
(the chief of the staff of Hoche, for instance), are put 
into his hands ; he sends to Lyons a trustworthy 
person to verify his information upon the state of the 
town ; he receives textual accounts of the secret 
deliberations of Sieves, Tallien and Barras ; his 
correspondents are drawn from the committees of the 
Convention and the councils of the Directory, from the 
public offices, from the general staffs of armies of the 
Republic and of the Vendean rebels. His statements 
as to the condition of Paris were verified in many cases 
by M. Taine's researches into the documentary sources 
of the history, which led that writer to express the 

Mame et fils, 1897), with a most appreciative introductory notice of 
Mallet du Pan. This correspondence, being addressed to a minister 
and not directly to a sovereign, is distinguished by even greater 
vivacity and freedom of expression than the Vienna correspondence. 

1 M. Michel in his excellent Introduction to the Vienna Corre- 
spondence has fully described these sources of information. 


strongest opinion as to the general accuracy and fidelity 
of the information upon which Mallet du Pan relied. 

The work is therefore of peculiar importance, 
not only as a record of Mallet du Pan's opinions and 
political action, but for the history of the time, 
addressed as it is to the sovereign of the only Con- 
tinental State still at war with the Republic. 

Mallet du Pan's warnings against the conclusion of 
peace at this moment were founded not indeed on the 
utility of foreign intervention as hitherto conducted, but 
on his knowledge of the internal condition of France 
to the study of which he set himself with renewed 
energy, and upon the proper handling of which every- 
thing in his opinion now depended. For the reaction 
of Thermidor had given rise to the one really popular 
movement of the later Revolution. The organisation 
of the body known to history, though not to contem- 
porary politics, as the Jeunesse Doree, had served as 
a rallying point for the rising royalist feeling. Re- 
cruited from the middle classes, they were composed 
of students and lawyers' clerks, of the sons of bankers, 
officials and shopkeepers. With hats, cravats and 
knee - breeches to distinguish them from the sans- 
culottes, or trousered, Jacobins, with hair arranged in 
pigtail or dressed d la victime jagged and short behind 
and long at the sides, and armed with large knobbed 
sticks, they assembled in the cafes of the Palais 
Royal, organised a regular opposition to the Jacobins, 
attacked their clubs, hunted down the buveurs de sang, 
destroyed the busts of Marat, and attended the theatre 
to sing the ' Reveil du Peuple? to hiss the 'Mar- 
seillaise? or cheer ironically at the refrain, ' Tremblez, 
tyrants et vous perfides \ That but a small minority 


were the weak dandies portrayed by Thiers, whose 
eccentricity earned for them from their enemies the 
names of ' Incroyables,' ' Elegants,' and ' Muscadins,' 
is proved by the heroic resistance they offered to the 
efforts of the rump of the Convention to perpetuate 
its power by the decrees of the 22nd of August 1795. 
They at all events represented a serious but unor- 
ganised body of opinion in the country, which was also 
beginning to find voice in the press. " The freedom 
of the press," Mallet wrote, 1 " produced the Revolution; 
the freedom of the press will destroy it by revolting, 
as it is doing every day, against its own work." He 
records the first signs of reaction in the Conven- 
tion itself, the petitions demanding the restoration of 
public worship and the abolition of the Republican 
calendar ; but much remained to be done. A third 
of France, he said, in the early months of 1795 was 
perhaps in favour of a monarchy, but the Royalists 
proper had not recovered from the terror which had 
plunged the whole kingdom into lethargy. 2 Those 
who adhered to the constitution of 1791 were as 
helpless and leaderless as the aristocrats. All had 
become accustomed to look upon the return of a king 
as a mere castle in Spain, and it was but a step from 
this sentiment to an inclination for the first order of 
things which promised security and peace. It was a 
condition, he pointed out to his royalist friends, almost 
equally favourable to the permanent establishment of a 
republic or to a restoration of the monarchy. 3 Nor did 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, letter of i6th August 1795. 
* Ibid., letters of 8th and i8th February 1795. 
3 The people, he wrote, are as far as ever from rising to re- 
establish the Monarchy. "C'est un animal pareil a ces femmes 


he fail to draw attention to the character of the men 
who still ruled the destinies of the country. Sieves, 
for instance, who had "lived" through the Terror, 
emerged in May 1795 as president of the Convention, 
and he alone, by reason of his " intrigues, his meta- 
physical babble, his personal fears of the restoration of 
a king, his philosophic vanity and ambition, was a 
sufficient make-weight against the inclination of the 
majority of his colleagues to abandon all idea of a 
republic ". With him were the authors of the Coup 
d'etat of Thermidor, Jacobins without principle or 
convictions whether republican or monarchical, ' hommes 
perdusj FreYon, Legendre, Ch&iier 1'aine, Merlin de 
Thionville, Lecointre, Barras, Bourdon de 1'Oise, and 
head of the band, the infamous Tallien. Once recovered 
from their surprise at the violence of the reaction of 

publiques qui s'attachent d'autant plus a leur amant qu'elles en 
resolvent plus de coups, parce qu'en ^change de ses maux il jouit 
d'une liberte de dereglement qui lui tient lieu du reste. A defaut 
de pain la populace vit de vieux harengs, d'ceufs durcis, de salade 
au mauvais beurre, ce qui avec deux onces de pain et autant 
de riz qu'on distribue journellement, I'empeche de mourir de faim. 
Les spectacles, les cabarets, les promenades sont remplis. Avec 
la diete, dit la multitude, nous atteindrons la moisson, et alors 
nous serons sauves. Noiis mangerons plutot des pierres que de nous 
soumettre. Tel est le langage des charretiers, des forgeons, des 
garsons cordonniers, imprimeurs, femmes, canaille en general. Ces 
gens sont toujours fanatiques, regicides, jacobins. Rappelez-vous 
le siege de Paris au temps de la Ligue ; on y mangeait des rats 
et on criait, a has les Bearnais / . . . ne comptez sur aucune 
guerre civile, c'est une vision d'e'migres. Les guerres n'ont lieu 
que de prince a prince, de pre*tendant a pretendant . . . mais ou 
regne 1'anarchie populaire il n'y a que des insurrections, des brigan- 
dages, des tueries, des 2 septembre. Le fanatisme, la stupeur, 
la betise, et la faiblesse, voila l'e"tat le plus general de la France " 
{Turin Correspondence, Descostes, p. 372). 


public opinion, the unexpected result of their victory 
over the Mountain, these men devoted all their energies 
to maintaining their ascendency, attempting at first to 
pose as leaders of the reaction and then, finding that 
their past crimes made them detested by the Jeunesse, 
falling back on the Mountain. Their tactics during the 
first months after Thermidor did much to provoke and 
stimulate the reaction and increase the chances of the 
Royalists, which seemed to grow greater till they cul- 
minated in the failure of the formidable terrorist kmeute 
of the ist of Prairial, energetically repressed by the 
Convention where a monarchical party had taken shape. 
For the first time since the loth of August, the opinion 
of the majority had asserted itself, and the party of order 
had gained the upper hand. " The criminal and sanguin- 
ary Revolution," Mallet wrote, "is over, the philosophic 
Revolution alone remains." The restoration which 
thus came into sight in the summer of 1795 was not 
that of which the royalist exiles still dreamed. The 
Revolution, " which like the Reformation was a revolu- 
tion of principles," had raised up interests so numerous 
and powerful as to make a complete restoration as 
impossible as it was undesirable. " It is," wrote 
Mallet to De Pradt, " as impossible to reconstruct the 
ancien regime as it would be to build St. Peter's with 
the dust from the roads ". It was a return to the 
constitution of 1791, of whose faults he had been the 
most unsparing critic, which he now thought alone 
possible. That constitution offered the advantage of 
a system already known and consecrated by law and 
usage. Its fatal weakness, the powerlessness to which 
it had reduced the executive in the person of the King, 
might he thought be remedied so as to give some hope 


of stability to a constitutional government. Mallet du 
Pan, as we know, 1 would have provided safeguards in 
a new constitution of the most stringent kind, for 
experience had taught him to value only such liberty as 
was compatible with public order and with the national 
character. But speculations as to the best kind of 
monarchy for France were beside the mark. " // s'agit 
de decider dabord non quelle monarchic on aura, mais 
si I* on aura une monarchic" One point only was clear. 
If the Republic, which was nothing but a permanent 
and perpetual revolution, was to be brought to an end, 
there must be an absolute repudiation of any design to 
reinstate the rotten autocracy of 1789. 

Such was the general situation which seemed to 
promise a term to the woes under which France and 
Europe had so long suffered. But the reactionary 
elements in France were too destitute of organisa- 
tion to act without intelligent direction from their 
natural leaders, that assistance was as usual wanting, 
and a succession of disastrous blunders on the part of 
the allies, the Princes, and the leaders of the movement 
in Paris, soon dealt the death-blow to the hopes in 
which Mallet du Pan had begun to indulge when he 
wrote to De Pradt (April 1795) that he was being 
" daily pressed to return to Paris, and that another 
turn of the wheel would take him there ". The 
peace of Bale, the death of the Dauphin, and the 
Quiberon expedition followed each other in quick 
succession. The signature of the treaty with Prussia 
(5th April) destroyed the one powerful lever in the 
hands of the Powers, the desire of the French people 

1 See Lettrcs de Mallet du Pan a Saladin Egerton, p. 25. 


for peace ; and saved the Convention by enabling it to 
gratify this craving and to hold out hopes of a general 
pacification. Mallet's indignation at this betrayal, by 
which Prussia sacrificed four solemn treaties and pre- 
ferred an alliance with the assassins of Louis XVI., 
knew no bounds. The most horrid Jacobin, he wrote 
to Turin, 1 could not have rendered a more signal 
service to the Revolution than Baron Hardenberg. If 
only the Prussian Cabinet had temporised a few weeks 
longer, and the allies had held together refusing to 
treat with the Jacobins, the position of that faction 
would have become impossible. Then came the death 
of the young prince called Louis XVII. Mallet had 
followed the persecution of the unfortunate boy in his 
reports to Turin and Vienna, and in a letter to the 
latter Court 2 he gave details of the treatment of the 

1 Descostes, p. 334. 

2 " Pendant un an entier le jeune Roi a couche sur un grabat qui 
ne fut jamais remue, lui-mme n'en avail pas la force : cet infortune 
etait oblige de se coucher comme un pauvre animal sur ce lit infect et 
putride. Madame plus avance'e balayait lui-meme sa chambre, la 
nettoyait et veillait a la proprete. 

" Dans leur chambre respective, on avait pratique un tour ou on 
leur apportait a manger ; a peine leur delivrait-on a quoi soutenir leur 
existence ; ils etaient obliges de remettre eux-memes les plats de la 
veille dans le tour. Les barbaries les plus raffine'es se succedaient 
chaque jour. . . . On forsait les deux enfants de se coucher a la 
nuit ; jamais on ne leur a donne de chandelle. Deux brigands 
veillaient jour et nuit autour de la chambre du Roi ; des qu'il etait 
plonge dans le premier sommeil, un de ces Cerberes lui criait d'une 
voix effroyable : Capet, oil es-tu ? dors-tu ? Me voila repondait 1'enfant, 
moitie endormi et tout tremblant. Aussitot le garde 1'obligeait de 
sortir du lit, d'accourir nu et suant pour se montrer. Trois heures 
apres, 1'autre brigand repetait la meme scene" (Correspondence for 
Vienna, \., 241-2). 



two children of Louis XVI. in the Temple after the 
execution of the Queen and of Madame Elizabeth 
of the most harrowing description, the recital of 
which can hardly have gratified the Emperor. His 
death on the 8th of June 179^, aged ten years and two 
months, murdered as certainly as if he had shared his 
father's scaffold, drew from Mallet some words of manly 
indignation. "Not one of the Powers had deigned to 
interest itself in the pitiable lot of this family, to claim 
for them some consideration or even to inform itself of 
their fate ! And it is with the men who have inflicted 
these horrors on the descendants of fifty kings, related 
to most of the crowned heads of Europe, que Pon traite, 
que Ion fraternise, que Fon signe des traite's de paix ! " * 
The event was a great blow to the royalist move- 
ment in France. It removed the rallying point of 
the Royalists to a foreign and hostile country, to a 
Prince whom Mallet almost insultingly described to 
the Emperor as the * Roi des Emigres 1 . It was a 
calamity, he said in his uncompromising fashion in reply 
to a question from the Princes, which had postponed 
the restoration and made possible the rapprochement 
between the Republicans and the Constitutionalists, 
for " his Majesty did not count as regent, he is dreaded 
as King". It was a calamity which Louis XVIII. pro- 

1 Correspondence for Turin, Descostes, p. 378. Mallet du Pan 
thus described the callous attitude of the corps diplomatique: "Le 
jour meme de la mort du roi, le Comte Carletti a donne" une con- 
versazione somptueuse a la campagne a deux cents deputes, a leurs 
catins, aux intrigants les plus pervers et a toute la canaille du beau 
monde re"publicain. M me Tallien etant la divinite du jour, M me de 
Stael a prodigue* les hommages les plus vils. Voila oil Ton est a la 
fin du XVIII e siecle! (Correspondence for Turin, Descostes, p. 377). 


ceeded to make irreparable by issuing from Verona the 
Declaration (of 24th June) affirming the necessity of a 
simple return to the ancient constitution of France, 
which showed how completely exile had caused a clever 
man to lose touch with public opinion, and which served, 
in Mallet du Pan's words, only to " divide, to irritate, 
to chill ". 

This time nevertheless the Princes had made ap- 
parently serious advances to Mallet du Pan, and had 
despatched Count Francois de Sainte-Aldegonde, a 
gentleman attached to D'Artois, to confer with him at 
Schaffhausen on a number of questions to which they 
desired answers. These he gave, having previously 
summed up his views in two notes to "the King" 1 in 
which he fully described the state of opinion in France, 
sketched out the line of action which commended itself 
to him, and impressed upon his Majesty in respectful but 
forcible terms that what the monarchists in Paris above 
all things required was the " moral resurrection of the 
King," and an appeal from him to the nation opening 
communications with the moderate elements in the 
country. Action was imperatively demanded, and ac- 
tion through reputable and trusted agents. 

These counsels proved, as Mallet du Pan had doubt- 
less anticipated, wholly unacceptable to the Princes, 
and Louis distrusting a man a systeme moderne 2 

1 Dated 3rd and loth July 1795. Sayous, ii., 151-169. 

2 In 1799 he replied to a suggestion by the Comte de Saint-Priest 
to employ Mallet du Pan in writing a fresh Declaration as follows : 
" L'idee d'employer la plume de Mallet du Pan est tres bonne . . . 
mais en connaissant le merite de cet ecrivain, je connais aussi ses 
defauts : tant qu'il ne s'agit que d'attaquer les vices de qui est fait 
son style clair, sa logique serree portent la conviction dans 1'esprit 


never again made a pretence of deferring to his 
opinion. D'Artois indeed continued from time to 
time, notably in London four years later, to solicit his 
advice, and it is curious that the future Charles X. 
should thus have appeared more liberal than Louis 
XVIII. More accessible and more courteous he 
certainly was, and the preference of the Duke of 
Wellington for the younger brother is only one 
instance of the superior popularity he always enjoyed 
with those who came in contact with him. But at 
every crisis of his life, from his desertion of Louis 
XVI. and Marie Antoinette to his desertion of the 
Due de Richelieu in 1821, he showed himself, as he 
was, unprincipled and faithless, and his occasional 
overtures to Mallet du Pan merely proved that he 
was not above intriguing with constitutionalism with 
a view to securing adherents in case his brother's 
more uncompromising policy made him impossible. 
Louis' attitude is more difficult to account for. He 
was a man of broader mind and, as he showed on 
several occasions in later life, of much more acute 
political perception than D'Artois ; he was capable 
of learning from experience, for the author of the 
Declaration of St. Ouen was a wiser man than the 
author of the Declaration of Verona. But it was long 

de ses lecteurs, mais lorsqu'il s'agit du futur, fhomme a systeme 
moderne se fait apercevoir, et il nuit plus qu'il ne sert. II lui faut 
done un rdgulateur et plutot trop ferme que pas assez; car entre 
les mains d'un homme qui abonderait dans son sens, il aurait les 
plus grands inconvenients, et tels que je prefererais son silence a ses 
services" Louis, fortified by De Maistre, still adhered to the terms 
of the Declaration of Verona. (From the letters and instructions 
of Louis XVIII. to Saint-Priest, quoted by M. Thureau-Dangin, 
Royalistes et R'epublicains ; p. 121.) 


before he showed any spirit of concession to popular 
ideas or any consciousness that the France of 1789 
was gone for ever, and meanwhile the opportunity 
of setting a term to the progress of revolution had 
passed never to return. That a Prince of some power 
of thought and experience, but entirely wanting in 
the qualities of initiative and action, was unable to 
shake off the influences of an absolutist court and the 
miserable tradition of an emigrk regency may be ex- 
plained without attaching undue importance to pettier 
motives. But Louis XVIII. was a be I esprit, and it 
is probable that offended vanity may have had some- 
thing to do with the withdrawal of his confidence 
from a too free-spoken and republican adviser. It 
is impossible to affirm that Mallet du Pan's character 
possessed any of the qualities likely to propitiate a 
pretender who found his consolations in the incense 
of flatterers, in the belief in his divine right, and in 
the ceremonial of a mock court. Mallet du Pan had 
reasoned himself into royalism, but he never came 
near legitimism. A man who could have stooped 
to seek opportunities of access, to mingle with his 
counsels some discreet adulation and to applaud the 
royal epigrams, might conceivably have obtained a 
useful influence and weaned the monarch from his 
parasites. But the failure of the moderate members 
of Louis' own court to alter his views probably shows 
he was not at this time to be shaken by arts or 
arguments however adroit. " Toleration as regards 
individuals, intolerance as regards principles," was the 
maxim which Louis XVIII. had announced in his ably 
written letter to Mounier, a maxim not unnaturally 
inspired by the recollection of the disastrous failure 


of his Brother's unresisting compliance with popular 
demands. If he sought Mallet's advice, it was doubt- 
less with the wish to obtain the moral support of a 
man who had stood high in the confidence of Louis 
XVI., and whose pen had gained him the ear of the 
public and of continental statesmen ; but with no 
intention to follow it if it did not coincide with his 
own preconceived opinion. 

Mallet du Pan then failed to influence the new 
court, but he failed in company with all the wisest 
advisers of the Princes. The Prince de Poix, who, 
on the loth of August, had covered Louis XVI. with 
his body in the Tuileries and who had lost his father 
and mother on the guillotine, was disgraced and exiled 
from Verona ; and De Castries and Sainte-Aldegonde 
who were in complete agreement with Mallet wrote 
to him full of sympathetic despair at the attitude of 
their royal masters. The royal confidence was given 
instead to men like Montgaillard and D'Entraigues, 
the two most consummate liars, as Mallet described 
them, to be found in France, and the latter of whom 
gloried in the title of the Marat of the counter-revolu- 
tion, and was so good as to write that he doubted 
whether Mallet du Pan was entirely devoted to the 
Jacobins. Emissaries and writers such as these, en- 
couraged by the patronage of D'Artois and Conde, vied 
with each other in sanguinary attacks on the constitu- 
tional Royalists whose aid was indispensable to any 
serious enterprise. 1 The impression made by these 
incendiaries in Paris may be imagined ; every one 

1 " Lafayette is classed with Jourdan Coupe-Tete, Cazales with 
Talleyrand, Malouet beneath Robespierre, Mallet du Pan lower than 
Gorsas, Carra, or Brissot !" (Thureau-Dangin.) 


was soon saying that no hesitation was possible be- 
tween the Republicans and enemies so implacable, 
and Mallet's comment is no more than was justified 
when he wrote to his friend, 

" Stultorum magister est eventus. These gentlemen may 
make themselves quite easy about the description of the 
monarchy to be established in France, for there will be 
no monarchy at all. The last Stuarts reasoned and con- 
ducted themselves as they reason and conduct them- 
selves abroad ; their end will be the same." 

The failure of the miserably conceived and executed 
descent of the British and the emigres on Quiberon, and 
the pusillanimous conduct of the Comte d'Artois 1 on 
that occasion, placed fresh arms in the hands of the 
Thermidorians, and made the ridiculous and futile talk 
from Verona of "clemency and pardon" to the early 
revolutionaries more ridiculous and futile than before. 

Again Mallet writes to Sainte-Aldegonde : 

" If they wish to lose everything let them go on 
with their equipees a la Quiberon, their extravagances 

lr The last vol. (iii.) of the Dropmore Papers, with its interesting 
introduction by Mr. Walter FitzPatrick, gives a great deal of informa- 
tion as to the causes of the failure of the Quiberon expedition when 
Pitt had at last resolved on the despatch of 20,000 men under Lord 
Moira. The decision to send for the Comte d'Artois, who was ac- 
cordingly conveyed in a British ship from the Elbe to Spithead, 
where he lived most uncomfortably in the cabin of a small and 
crowded seventy-four, unable to land at Portsmouth for fear of arrest 
for debt, was an unfortunate one. Though he talked a great deal 
about it, he could never make up his mind to insist on being landed 
in France and joining his heroic Vendean followers, and the British 
Government made no attempt to facilitate his landing in England. 
The whole business as described in this correspondence shows the 
usual ill-management of Pitt's Government in war ; and exhibits the 
blustering but irresolute D'Artois in a very unfavourable light. 


d la Coblentz, their fables of chivalry, of Dunois and 
Gaston de Foix, of kings who speak of conquering 
their kingdom without a battalion, who talk at Verona 
as Henry IV. had the right to talk on the field of Ivry. 
In heaven's name, my dear friend, once for all stop this 
deluge of folly, silence your impertinent pamphleteers, 
cut off your moustaches, tell the tmigrts to cease ex- ^ 
terminating one another if they wish to go back to 
France and to their properties. . . . It is not for us to 
direct events in the country, it is for them to guide us. 
The Monarchists there dread nothing so much as our 
great measures, our great armies, our great plans, 
which have produced such great results." All illusions 
as to the usefulness of the war are gone. " I am anxious 
for and I believe in a general peace. The Powers 
have assuredly nothing better to hope for ... whether 
they recognise the King or not matters not six farth- 
ings ; it is by France herself and not by beaten and 
execrated foreigners that he must be adopted." 

Unfortunately the Monarchists within were little 
wiser than the Royalists without. The mistaken action 
of the latter had increased the chance that the new 
Republican constitution, which was being elaborated in 
the Convention, would be accepted by the men of 
moderate opinions in the country, where the Ther- 
midorians who clung to power with the desperation of 
fear again made common cause with the Mountain, and 
succeeded in carrying the decrees of Fructidor reserving 
two-thirds of the places in the new councils to members 
of the Convention. These decrees raised a storm of / 
indignation which gave a fresh impulse to royalist 
feeling. But their leaders, and especially some of 
their writers, instead of biding their time and trusting 
to the annual elections to turn the growing movement 
to advantage, played into the hands of the Convention 


by taking up their challenge without concert or direc- 
tion, save the deliberations in the sections of Paris ; 
they blundered impetuously into the struggle for which 
the Thermidorians were longing and for which they 
had prepared by massing troops and arming the Jaco- 
bins ; and the day of the i3th of Vende'miaire, when 
Bonaparte under the direction of Barras crushed the 
Jeunesse, ensured the continuance under legal forms 
of the Jacobin rule and destroyed the hopes alike of 
a royalist restoration and of a moderate republic. 
'Nous voila retombes? wrote Mallet du Pan on 28th 
October, 1 'dans un abime sans fond' "Only those 
who know by what efforts Paris has been roused from 
its lethargy can judge of the difficulty of again bring- 
ing about a similar conjunction of favourable circum- 
stances." The depth of his discouragement shows 
how real in his opinion had been the chance which had 
come into view during these months for the first time 
since the fatal days of October 1789 of ending the 
Revolution by the establishment of a constitutional 
monarchy, by an anticipation in fact of i8i4. 2 Mallet 
du Pan dwelt on the part played by the Revolutionaries 
of 1789 and the Constitutionalists of 1791, whom the 
6migr'es and their King had been too shortsighted to 
conciliate, in the victory of the Jacobin Republic. But 
the Zmigr'es were not displeased at the catastrophe 
"because the livery of the ancien regime had not 

1 Letter to Sainte-Aldegonde. 

2 " Je vous certifie que le retablissement de la Monarchic &ait le 
but central des operations ; on y fut parvenu, sans aucun doute, si 
la Convention eut 6t6 force a renoncer a la reflection, et avec un 
nouveau Corps le*gislatif" (Lettres de Mallet du Pan a Saladin 
Egerton, p. 27). 


been at once assumed," "because the royalism of its 
authors did not possess its sixteen quarterings "I 1 A 
few months later he uttered the prophecy which was 
to prove so terribly precise : 

' On ne recouvrera la monarchic que sur des 
monceaux de cendres et de cadavres, et apres avoir vu 
un usurpateur en saisir les renes et les conserver peut- 
etre fort longtemps '. 

The action of Mallet du Pan during the critical 
months thus briefly sketched would be sufficient, even 
if it stood alone, to justify his title to the possession of 
high political capacity. From this time he definitely 
takes the place claimed for him by M. Thureau-Dan- 
gin as the most prominent, active and devoted represen- 
tative of the only royalism worthy of the name, of the 
royalism which, if it had been adopted in 1795, would 
undoubtedly have terminated the Revolution, and which 
alone was to bear fruit in the future. His voluminous 
official reports and private letters at this time illustrate 
his finest qualities as a writer, his genius for realising 
and depicting the exact condition of public opinion, 
his power of analysing party feeling and party distinc- 
tions, his insight into the real needs of the situation, 
his courage in advocating unpalatable views ; all the 
qualities in short which distinguish the constructive 
statesman. The rest of his career will only testify to 
the apparent uselessness during his own life of the 
self-sacrificing exercise of these remarkable faculties. 

The advent of the Directory to power not only put 
an end to the hopes of peace, but inaugurated a phase of 
the war which was not to end till Europe had been 

1 Letter to Sainte-Aldegonde, 28th October 1795. 

BERNE 203 

overturned from one end to the other, till it had more 
than justified the prediction which Mallet had made in 
January 1792. The pages of the Correspondence for 
the Emperor will enable us to follow Mallet du Pan's 
unavailing counsels as to the conduct of the war and 
the general situation of France under the Directory 
But it is time to turn to his life and occupations in the 
ancient and aristocratic Republic of Berne which was 
his home for nearly four years, and where his son had 
joined his family after witnessing the bloody revolution 
at Geneva, and hearing the proclamation read which con- 
demned Mallet du Pan as one of the first of those to suffer 
death if ever found in the territory of the State. He 
has left a description of Berne which is worth quoting : 

" The contrast between Geneva and Berne is at all 
times striking ; the one an old, irregular, and in part a 
gloomy town, inhabited by an intelligent, disputatious, 
over-active people, hemmed up in their beehive, on the 
confines of three other States ; surrounded by a country 
full of natural beauties, but far from fertile ; bare of 
verdure and fine timber, and through which the access 
to the town is confined to dusty roads, without any 
agreeable circumstances save the view of the lake and 
the Alps. Berne, on the contrary, is the capital of a 
large canton, and the place of residence of an ancient 
and powerful aristocracy, many of whom deserted their 
baronial residences in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries to seek the security and immunities of an 
Imperial and walled town, and who subsequently 
brought a large portion of the Swiss territory under 
their dominion. With the exception of the Pays de 
Vaud, the population of the canton was German a 
grave, methodical people, chiefly engaged in pastoral 
and agricultural pursuits ; many of them wealthy ; a 
hard, rugged, fine race of men. The town itself is a 


model of order, cleanliness and attention to public 
objects ; the country around hilly and wooded, nearly 
all in pasture land, and watered with numerous streams 
a perfect picture of agricultural prosperity and agree- 
able scenery. The roads are as fine as any in Europe, 
with broad footways to a considerable distance from the 
town ; the woods and meadows intersected by paths in 
every direction, and the Jungfrau, Eigers, and Wetter- 
horn, with various intermediate chains of Alps, bounding 
the horizon. According to all appearances, and also in 
reality, a happy and well-governed country. No taxes, 
a strict administration of the revenues of the State, 
justice done between man and man ; in most respects 
an excellent government, and yet vastly remote from 
the beau ideal of modern times." 1 

As for the Bernese Government its faults were 
those of a government 

" founded on a principle of exclusion, and jealous of 
any distinction, whether arising from wealth, active 
intelligence, or social rank, other in fact than that of 
member of the Great Council of Berne. Hence a syste- 
matic discouragement of manufacturing industry and 
political discussion, and a feeling towards the nobles of 
the Pays de Vaud which generally made the govern- 
ment lean towards the peasantry in all the differences 
between the gentry and the people. With all these 
faults, however, there was at Berne what is generally 
found in all aristocratic Republics, a character of eleva- 
tion and energy which is seldom seen in more popular 
governments ; and this observation in some measure 
holds good of individuals in such States, in whom 
republican virtues are often found united with pride 
of birth and ancestry." : 

The life of the family was simplicity itself. Their 
finances were reduced to a low ebb, but in one of 

1 Reminiscences. 2 Ibid. 

BERNE 205 

Mallet's few allusions to such matters, replying to an 
offer from De Castries of assistance, he says, about this 
time, that he was still living on what he had saved 
from the wreck of Paris and Geneva and that he 
had not yet suffered physical privation, ' et cest beau- 
coup '. He refused therefore to abuse the kindness of 
his fellow victims, expressing his confidence in finding 
resources when his plan of life was decided on. These 
as it happened were provided until 1798 by his political 
correspondence for Vienna, Berlin and Lisbon ; and 
there is in existence an account-book in which he kept 
a strict account of his expenditure, which never ex- 
ceeded an income of about ^400 a year, while he 
always had a reserve fund of ^200 or ^300 for unfore- 
seen expenses. Jealous of his personal independence, 
which he always looked on as his most precious posses- 
sion, and therefore forced to practise a rigid economy, 
he never neglected the claims of friends or the education 
of his children ; and while the family were all dining at 
ninepence a head he provided his sons and daughters 
with an Italian master and a music master. 

" At first l we had furnished lodgings in the Grande 
Rue, on the second floor of a grocer's shop, kept by a 
nephew of the great Haller, bearing the same name, 
and proud of it, not because it had been honoured by 
his distinguished relative, but because it was the name 
of a patrician family. Our apartments were altogether 
warmed with stoves ; there was not a chimney in the 
whole house ; and we were fed from the hotel or the 
restaurateur. This manner of supply was called the 
cantine, from an old-fashioned word, cantina, a cellar or 
pot-house, whence the French military word cantine, or 

1 Reminiscences. 


soldier's can. The fare was execrable, but the cheap- 
ness perfectly incredible. We had as many portions 
as we chose of each sort of mess, and so far as I re- 
member we all dined for thirty batz, or 33. 6d. At the 
end of a few months we got tired of the Hallers and 
the cantine, and took an airy and cheerful apartment 
on the Market Place. A market day is one of the 
great sights of Berne, the peasantry resorting to it 
from many miles around in their light carts, generally 
drawn by four horses of a fine breed, well harnessed 
and driven by reins. The provisions they bring are 
abundant and excellent of their kind ; but the Bernois 
are bad cooks ; their cookery, as well as their language, 
is of German origin, but degenerated, and as they are 
very inhospitable their cookery is not likely to improve. 
During the years we were at Berne we did not once 
dine with any Bernois family. My father was asked 
to the houses of members of the Government, but 
alone. . . . 

" Our society principally consisted of French and 
Genevese refugees, among whom the virtuous and 
distinguished President of the National Assembly, 
Mounier, and his family, stood foremost in our regard. 
The other French emigrants of our acquaintance were 
chiefly from Lyons and Franche-Comte. The Lyonese 
were among the survivors of that destructive siege 
which is remembered as one of the most terrific events 
of the French Revolution ; persons of the middle 
classes, chiefly manufacturers and merchants ; well- 
informed, domestic, and of the most respectable habits ; 
by far the best class of French emigrants I have 
known. We lived upon terms of intimacy with several 
of them, and with many of our own countrymen who 
had lately fled from Geneva. Among the latter were 
the Gallatins, Falquets, Diodatis, and a spruce, middle- 
aged bachelor, Sarrazin, who had been in the service 
of the King of Prussia, and who, with good sense and 
good manners, made himself ridiculous by his adherence 

BERNE 207 

to the stiff gait, tight dress, and coxcombical habits of 
a Prussian Guardsman : he was a sort of beau to 
Madame Diodati. Count Gallatin and his wife were 
among the most distinguished Genevese : he a superior 
man, in spite of his affected manners, and a great 
friend of my father's, who for several years corre- 
sponded with him. He died minister of Bavaria at 
Paris in 1823, and was of the same family as Albert 
Gallatin, of the United States. . . . 

" Our little circle of refugees met several times a 
week, sometimes at one house, sometimes at another ; 
for many of our friends lived in the immediate vicinity 
of the town. The winters at Berne are often beautiful. 
I have seen there six weeks of uninterrupted bright, 
clear frost, with an almost unclouded sky, and the 
ground, as it were, sparkling with gems. This was 
the time for long excursions ; nor did the severity of 
the season ever interrupt our social intercourse. Our 
walks home at night from the country houses of our 
friends, muffled up in our cloaks, and with servants 
carrying lanterns, were often full of merriment. The 
interests, opinions and prejudices of our little circle 
were all engaged on the same side ; we only differed 
as to the means of bringing about a counter-revolu- 
tion, and my father's judgment in these matters 
being held paramount, whenever he condescended to 
join our parties it was considered as a great compli- 

At Berne Mallet du Pan was for his purposes 
fortunately placed ; he was in the very centre of in- 
trigue and diplomacy, and surrounded by emigres and 
emissaries of every party. Many calls upon his time 
arose from the arrival of political characters or other 
individuals who came to him for one reason or another, 
some to communicate their schemes and solicit his 
advice, others to request his assistance with the allied 


courts, others again merely to talk politics and make 
his acquaintance : 

" The greater number of these persons came from 
Paris, the Swiss frontier being the only outlet, and 
Switzerland itself the scene of much political corre- 
spondence and intrigue. I have a note of Madame 
de StaeTs, written to my father from the Faucon (an 
inn at Berne) in terms highly complimentary, request- 
ing an interview with him. He, however, declined 
seeing her which was somewhat stern, and can only 
be explained by his dread of her intriguing disposition 
and his extreme aversion to political notoriety in 
women. Such was the opinion entertained of my 
father's judgment, means of information, and probity 
of character that some of the most distinguished in- 
dividuals among the French Constitutionalists, such 
as the Comte de Narbonne, Theodore de Lameth, 
Mathieu Dumas and others, whose opinions and 
conduct in the Revolution had been animadverted 
upon in his writings in terms of great severity, never- 
theless consulted him in the most unreserved manner, 
and expressed on all occasions their esteem for his 
character." 1 

From the earliest days of his settlement in Berne 
Mallet du Pan had been suspiciously watched by the 
able French minister Barthe'lemy who reported to his 
Government the supposed intrigues, the ' diaboliques 
menees' in which he was engaged, and cast about for 
the means of "eliminating" him from his native country. 
' On ne peut se dissimuler] he wrote in March 1794, 
' que ce Genevois est une vraie mche cCenfer pour 
notre pays! These words may be placed side by side 
with the imprecations from the court of the regent at 

1 Reminiscences, 


Verona against ' ce diable cThomme quon ne pouvait 
parvenir & faire taire\ There is, as M. Descostes 
has well said, abuse which does honour to its object, 
and the attacks with which Mallet du Pan was over- 
whelmed by extremists on both sides is the truest 
homage which could have been paid to his political 

There were at that time but two foreign ministers 
at Berne besides the French representative Barthelemy, 
those from Sardinia and England. Baron Vignet, the 

" was a large lumbering man, slovenly to the greatest 
degree, with his waistcoat always open, and his 
shirt frill spattered with snuff; chattering with all 
comers ; cursing the French, and playing whist with 
the old dowagers of Berne. I must not omit his dinner 
which was one of the most important of his concerns. 
Truffles were a great article with him, and he always 
carried some in his pocket which he offered to people 
as one offers a lozenge or a pinch of snuff. He had a 
great opinion of my father and the kindest feelings 
towards us, and often came and chatted with my mother 
in the morning ; on some of which occasions I have 
seen him call for a little silver saucepan and a couple 
of eggs when the plenipotentiary would pare and slice 
his truffles, mix them with the eggs, and stirring the 
whole over the fire make an excellent mess of ceufs 
brouilles. With all this the baron had very good natural 

sense, and no want of shrewdness or political discern- 

^ "i 

Mallet du Pan's relations with the court of Turin 
perhaps owed their origin to his acquaintance with the 
British minister there, Mr. Trevor afterwards Lord 

1 Reminiscences. 


Hampden, to whom he had been introduced by Sir 
John Macpherson. Trevor remained one of his warmest 
admirers and friends ; and his relations with the British 
representatives at Berne began auspiciously, his con- 
stant visits to Lord Robert Fitzgerald attracting the 
attention of the French spies. Lord Robert seems to 
have been a rather typical specimen of an English 
diplomatist; "a fine, aristocratic-looking person," he is 
described, " with the air and address of a high-bred 
gentleman ; nor was he deficient in information and 
intelligence ; but inactive, and without capacity for 
affairs ". But Mallet's relations with the successive 
English ministers were early disturbed by an incident 
which gave him much concern at the time, and very 
much weakened the credit he had enjoyed with the 
British Government. Careful as he was he could not 
be always on his guard against misrepresentations, and 
on this occasion he seems to have been misled. In 
September 1794 Theodore de Lameth and his friends 
thought they saw a chance of organising the moderates 
in Paris through the Thermidorians, so as to bring 
about the restoration of a government in France which 
could protect its inhabitants and be a guarantee of peace 
in Europe. They offered their services on condition 
that Lafayette and others should be set at liberty by 
the Powers ; and induced Mallet du Pan and Mounier 
to transmit their proposals to Lord Grenville, which 
they accordingly did through the British minister at 
Berne. George III. in a note to Lord Grenville 
observed : " Lord Robert Fitzgerald (the minister) 
is certainly not an able or quick-sighted man, and 
the two French gentlemen, M. Mounier and M. du 
Pan, are men of superior talents, and may have their 


own private views to effect V Mr. Wickham, there- 
fore, a personal friend of Lord Grenville's, was sent 
out to inquire into the matter. Mallet's son relates 
what followed : 

"Mr. Wickham's arrival was an event. To us it 
was at first a peculiarly agreeable circumstance ; for 
his wife was a Genevese lady the daughter of Professor 
Bertrand, who had married a Mallet and whose family 
was well known to us, and highly respectable. But 
although Mr. Wickham was always courteous and 
considerate to my father, the good understanding and 
considerate feeling with which their acquaintance 
began soon subsided. Mr. Wickham discovered or 
thought he discovered, on communicating with the 
individuals whose overtures had led to his mission, 
that there was little or no foundation for the expecta- 
tions held out by them, and that they had neither party 
nor friends at Paris whom it might be an object to 
support. This may have been all true, but it was 
probably expressed too unreservedly. Mounier, who 
had been a party to the overtures made to the British 
Government, and whose temper was quick, was offended 
with Mr. Wickham's conclusions, and would have no- 
thing more to say to him." 

George III. was very angry at what he considered 
the ''duplicity" of Mounier and Mallet du Pan, and 
attributed the fiasco not to imprudence on their part 
but to "premeditated falsehood". He ordered that 
in future they were to be " kept out of any business 
Mr. Wickham might have to transact ". 2 Lord Robert 
Fitzgerald had previously reported that they were 

1 Dropmore Papers, vol. ii., p. 638. 

2 Note to Lord Grenville, 4th December 1794, Dropmore 


now undeceived and "not a little ashamed that 
two such great men should have been so grossly 
duped ! " 

" My father," continues the Reminiscences, " re- 
mained upon friendly terms ; but when Mr. Wickham 
replaced Lord Robert Fitzgerald, who was soon re- 
called, circumstances arose which could hardly fail 
to disturb the good harmony between them. Lord 
R. Fitzgerald's diplomatic functions were of a very 
quiet character, but Mr. Wickham's influence with 
Lord Grenville, his activity and talents, and the 
ample pecuniary means placed at his disposal, soon 
brought him plenty of business. The people who used 
to come to my father for his opinions now came to 
Mr. Wickham for guineas. Plots were got up in 
Franche - Comte^ and other parts of France on the 
credit of this new ally, and chiefly by determined and 
uncompromising Royalists, who would have nothing 
short of the old regime. Differences of opinion, there- 
fore, soon arose between Mr. Wickham and my father, 
both as to the description of person to be trusted and 
the end proposed. My father had a very indifferent 
opinion of some of Mr. Wickham's agents, considering 
them as some of the worst instruments that could be 
employed for the objects he had in view. On the 
other hand, Mr. Wickham thought my father much 
too favourable to the Constitutionalists, and the dupe 
of their ambitious views. Some ill humour was thus 
generated on both sides, without altogether interrupting 
their intercourse. Mr. Wickham went on his own way 
without consulting my father, whose extensive corre- 
spondence and habits of communication with political 
men were not unnaturally a cause of distrust and caution 
to a regular diplomatist ; and my father, on his side, 
kept to his old path, without mixing in any of the 
counter-revolutionary intrigues afloat, of which Berne 
then became the headquarters." 


These differences, though they cut him off from 
communication with the British Government upon which 
he had in the summer of 1 793 greatly relied for a wise 
and moderate war policy, did not permanently estrange 
Mallet du Pan from Wickham, who on several occa- 
sions in later years used his influence in his favour and 
contributed essentially in the advancement of his son 
after his death, a sincere and unusual proof of friend- 

It may easily be conceived that Mallet du Pan's 
natural aversion to intrigue was strengthened by this 
occurrence, and that he had no great hopes from 
similar schemes, such as that, for instance, of which 
Montgaillard two years later made him his chief con- 
fidant, to bring over Pichegru then at the head of the 
army of the Rhine to the royalist side through the 
Prince de Conde". His own time was fully occupied 
by the task of digesting the reports he continually 
received from France, and preparing his weekly 
budget for the three Courts. But he maintained at 
the same time a most active private correspondence 
in which he expressed his ideas with even less reserve 
than in his diplomatic despatches. The interchange 
of letters between Mallet du Pan and a large circle 
of friends of every shade of anti- revolutionary opin- 
ions formed indeed one of the most important sources 
of his information, and now, that his journalistic work 
was for a time interrupted, one of his chief means of 
influencing public opinion. 

There was first of all the group of constitutional 
Monarchists with whom Mallet had allied himself, 
in sympathy though not in hope, during the first 
months of the National Assembly. The Comte de 


Lally-Tollendal was already known for his devotion 
to the memory of his father, the General Lally of 
Indian renown, executed under the old regime. His 
eloquence and his vigorous championship of the prin- 
ciples of liberty on the English pattern brought him 
early into prominence in the National Assembly, and 
early drove him from it into exile. He was a man 
of high and honourable character, and master of a 
literary style, forcible and rhetorical, which might per- 
haps have won him a free election to the seat in the 
Academy presented to him by Louis XVIII. at the 
Restoration. There was, however, an element of Irish 
exuberance in his character which made Lally a some- 
what burlesque figure. Rivarol described him as ' le 
plus gras des hommes sensibles ' ; a man ' a ddmonstra- 
tions, & grands sentiments, a embrassades' says Sainte- 
Beuve. Lord Sheffield's lively daughter gives us some 
very entertaining glimpses J of Lally-Tollendal, with his 
alternations of high and low spirits, his declamation 
of Voltaire's plays and his own compositions, his flow 
of amusing talk, his dancing with the "greatest good 
humour to the music of a Fletching fiddler," and his 
dark allusions to the pond in the park coupled with 
meaning questions about Lord Clive's end. " The 
maids who sleep over his room say he walks about the 
greatest part of the night and groans and stamps and 

1 See Girlhood of Maria Josepha (afterwards Lady Stanley of 
Alderley), by her granddaughter, Miss Adeane. She describes her 
first impressions of Lally-Tollendal and Mounier at Lausanne as 
follows : " If I had not heard the one speak and heard of the other I 
should have set them both down as very stupid men. . . . Lally has 
a very heavy countenance till it is animated by conversation ; and 
Mounier looks insignificant." 


sighs most horribly." She tells of his somewhat too 
tardy marriage with a Scotch lady, of his liaison with 
Princesse d'Henin, of his claim as the grandson of an 
Irishman to British nationality, his application for an 
Irish peerage, and his success at length in obtaining a 
pension of ^300. He seems to have become some- 
what ashamed of his precipitate flight from Paris in 
October 1789, and redeemed it by his courageous re- 
turn in 1791 when he exerted himself with Lafayette 
in the interests of the royal house, witnessing the 
events of the summer of 1792, and only escaping from 
prison on the eve of the September massacres by the 
help of a friendly door-keeper of the National Assembly. 

" He employed himself the first two days of his im- 
prisonment by preparing a defence of Montmorin, and 
proved his innocence so clearly that he was acquitted 
and released, but the aimables sans-culottes interfered 
and insisted on a new trial, in consequence of which he 
was sent back to the Abbaye where he met his unfor- 
tunate end. The last three days Lally made his own 
speech for the scaffold and intended to hold very high 
language and to let them hear a little truth. I have 
sometimes doubted whether he was not disappointed at 
losing the opportunity of delivering his harangue." 

With all his foibles, however, he was a warm and 
generous friend and admirer of Mallet du Pan, who 
died in his house. He returned in 1801 to France, 
and lived in retirement near Bordeaux, and on the 
Restoration he was created a peer of France, and played 
a consistent and honourable part in defence of his life- 
long opinions in the Chamber, dying a few months 
before the Revolution of 1830. 

1 Girlhood of Maria Josepha, p. 192. 


Mounier, with whom Mallet du Pan became intimate 
at Lausanne and at Berne, and for whose character 
and ability he expresses the highest esteem, is a 
less inspiring figure. Madame de Stael called him 
" passionately reasonable ". By the irony of fate he 
is famous in history as the proposer of the oath of the 
Tennis Court, an act of which he heartily repented. 
His real title to remembrance is his knowledge of 
constitutional theory, and his attempt to apply that 
knowledge in the first months of the National Assembly 
of which he was President during the days of October. 
At Geneva ; in England, where he was glad to accept 
a travelling tutorship to Lord Hawke's son ; at Berne, 
where he returned with his pupil ; and, finally, in the 
territories of the Duke of Brunswick, where he set up 
an academy for young men, he gained fresh distinction 
by his political writings, and perhaps lost some of the 
pedantic narrowness which unfitted him for leadership. 
He returned at all events to France in 1801 where he 
died five years later, and where he honourably main- 
tained his opinions and his independence, though he 
served the Emperor as prefect of the department at 
Ile-et-Vilaine and afterwards as a Counsellor of State. 
He died in 1805, and his son, Baron Mounier, played 
a creditable part under the Restoration. 

Above either of these in Mallet du Pan's regard 
was Malouet, by whose side he had stood through the 
first three years of the Revolution. After his return 
to France in 1801 from England, which had been his 
home since his almost miraculous escape from Paris 
after the September massacres, Bonaparte was glad 
to make use of his remarkable administrative capacity 
and experience as Maritime Prefect at Antwerp, and 


he lived just long enough to become Minister of Marine 
and a member of the Chamber of Peers under Louis 
XVIII. He will ever remain known for his loyal 
devotion to the King and Queen: ' N^oubliez jamais 
son nom,' was Marie Antoinette's injunction to the 
Dauphin. But he is equally with Mallet du Pan the 
most prominent and sagacious of the liberal Monarch- 
ists ; together with his friend he united moderation of 
opinions with courage and consistency in expressing 
and maintaining them, and his memoirs give by far 
the best account of the policy and action of the early 
Constitutionalists in the National Assembly. But while 
Mallet's hostility to revolutionary principles grew with 
his knowledge of them, and his criticisms became more 
profound and valuable as he realised the European 
character of the convulsion, Malouet, at a distance from 
the scene of events and cut off as he was in England 
from all the sources of knowledge open to his friend, 
yielded to the influences which surrounded him and 
to his natural longing to return to his own country, 
and became increasingly inclined to what Mallet thought 
hazy and impossible ideas of compromise. The circum- 
stances and character of the two men in fact influenced 
them in a different direction without destroying their real 
agreement or their personal friendship, and Malouet's 
letters during their differences in 1797 remained models 
of temperate reasoning. Mallet's son has left the fol- 
lowing picture of this interesting and attractive figure : 

" Malouet was, to the time of my father's death 
and his own subsequent return to France, our best and 
dearest friend ; a man who possessed every virtue which 
can distinguish a public man and form an estimable 
and useful citizen ; enlightened, moderate, firm, labori- 


ous, eloquent, with a strong sense of public duty, 
eminently disinterested ; of an undaunted courage, and 
yet in the greatest degree tender and amiable in the 
private relations of life ; delightful in conversation by 
his simplicity, playfulness, and indulgence ; wholly 
free from any affectation of superiority ; and yet, as 
observes Montlosier, with a mind and manner the most 
commanding and dignified. Such was the man, whose 
friendship and regard I shall ever be proud of." x 

The most original of the moderates and always one 
of Mallet du Pan's warmest friends, was the Auvergnat 
noble, the Comte de Montlosier, whose beginnings in the 
National Assembly have already been noticed. He was 
Mallet's most vehement and not too discreet supporter 
in his campaign against the spirit of the emigration. 

"On his emigrating from France in April 1792 
he found on his arrival at Coblentz that the pure 
Royalists considered him as a contaminated person, 
who had transige with the Revolution ; and being cut 
by one of these dnergumenes, M. Dambray, he fought 
and wounded him, after which he met with no further 
molestation. I never knew any man more free from 
littleness of character and selfish views. He was a 
self-educated man ; a considerable geologist for his 
time ; and possessed of some knowledge in various 
branches of history and philosophy ; but he was too 
ambitious of literary distinction, and his style was often 
involved and obscure. He was also too much given 
to systems systems of Government, systems of morals, 
social systems ; but he nevertheless possessed what 
appears quite inconsistent with such a turn of mind 
great vigour of purpose ; and he seems by some late 
proceedings at Paris to be as firm a friend to constitu- 
tional freedom and religious tolerance as he was fifty 

years ago." 2 

1 Reminiscences. 2 Ibid. 


Mallet du Pan's friendships were not confined to- 
those who held his exact shade of political opinions, 
for he was as far as possible from being a doctrinaire 
in politics. The development of the Revolution into 
a European event brought him as we have seen into 
political partnership, not only with continental states- 
men, but with Frenchmen of various parties and 
especially with many of the pure Royalists, such as the 
Prince de Poix, the Marshal de Castries and the Comte 
de Sainte-Aldegonde, men who though emigres in fact 
were as far as himself from sharing the incurable pre- 
judices of their class. With such men as these he found 
himself as time went on more in sympathy, the sympathy 
born of active co-operation, than with the older friends. 
With De Castries and Sainte-Aldegonde, at all events, 
he maintained a voluminous correspondence, and with 
the latter he formed a most cordial friendship. Sainte- 
Aldegonde was of a great Netherlands family 1 and 

1 " Je n'oublierai jamais les manures nobles, jolies et cependant 
parfaitement simples du grand seigneur Fran9ais. Mon pere avait 
pour M. de Sainte-Aldegonde une confiance et une amitie' qui ne se 
de'mentirent jamais, et ce dernier sentit la mort de mon pere comme 
il aurait senti celle d'un frere" (note by J. L. Mallet). The topsy- 
turveydom of Revolution is well illustrated by the fact that at the 
time of his death Mallet was assisting Sainte-Aldegonde with a payment 
of ^25 a year which he had hastened to offer as soon as the Mercure 
Britannique had been successfully launched. The offer and its accept- 
ance does honour to both men. Sainte-Aldegonde's royal master was 
little better off. During the Quiberon expedition, the Comte d'Artois 
could not set foot in England for fear of arrest for debt, and there 
is a curious letter from Lord Buckingham to his brother Lord Gren- 
ville (4th Sept. 1797), in which he says : " In the meantime do not let 
the Comte d'Artois starve, which is pretty near his actual situation. 
. . . The only sure and clear result of all these conferences is that 
Monsieur has not one farthing, and having received only ^1,000 for 


had before the Revolution become attached to the 
Comte d'Artois, probably through his marriage with the 
daughter of the Duchesse de Tourzel, Gouvernante des 
Enfans de France, who first introduced him to Mallet 
du Pan. Their meeting at SchafThausen cemented a 
friendship which ended only with Mallet's death. Sainte- 
Aldegonde was placed in the Chamber of Peers at the 
Restoration. Marshal de Castries had won distinction 
in the pre- Revolutionary wars, and had been Minister 
of Marine to Louis XVI. in 1780. His son's duel with 
Charles de Lameth and the consequent sack of his hotel, 
one of the first acts of violence of the Parisian mob, 
had drawn from Mallet a vigorous denunciation of the 
growing spirit of anarchy. "The Marshal," wrote his 
friend after his death, "supported with no less dignity 
than resignation the trials of adversity. Never either 
in his sentiments, his conduct, or his counsels did he 
lose sight of the prudence acquired in difficult times, 
of the moderation which marks a man in whom reason 
is superior to resentment, of the conciliatory spirit 
without which an unfortunate cause becomes a hope- 
less one." His high character and great services gave 
him an influential position at the emigre court, and the 
Duke of Brunswick, whom he had defeated at Closter- 
camp, now chivalrously welcomed him at Wolfenbiittel 
and raised a monument there to his memory on his 
death in 1801. Through both of these Mallet was 
constantly able to give information and advice to the 
Princes of a kind which they were not in the habit of 
receiving from other sources. He also, through the 
group of friends assembled at the court of the Duke 

the last three months is not very likely to get fat " (Droptnore Papers, 
Tol. iii., p. 368). 


of Brunswick, communicated his views to the Duke, 
upon whom he once said the dictatorship of Europe 
ought to be conferred. The Chevalier de Gallatin, 
Mallet's recommendation of whom to the Duke ob- 
tained for him a nomination to his Council and important 
diplomatic employment in later years, was one of these. 
On a somewhat different level from most of the above 
stands another of Mallet's most constant and brilliant 
correspondents, the Abbe" de Pradt, whose remarkable 
pamphlet, L? Antidote au Congres de Rastadt, was even 
attributed to Joseph de Maistre. He was one of those 
who grew tired of exile when Bonaparte restored order 
to France, and as Bishop of Poictiers and afterwards 
Archbishop of Malines, Baron and Grand Cross of 
the Legion of Honour, confidant of Napoleon and his 
ambassador at Warsaw in 1812, and finally as pensioner 
of Louis XVIII., he was permitted to gratify to the 
full the cravings of personal ambition. 

The names of Necker, De Panat, De Sales, De 
Maistre and Portalis close the list of the best known 
of Mallet du Pan's correspondents, but he maintained 
also a private correspondence with many of the public 
men mentioned in the preceding pages. 







THE period embraced by the Vienna correspondence, 
of which some further account must now be given, is 
perhaps the dreariest and least known of the revolu- 
tionary epoch. Not a man concerned in administration 
or in the active work of politics stands forth from the 
picture, not an act either of destruction or of reorgani- 
sation has left any permanent trace. The annals of 
the Directory would be the meanest passage in French 
history if they had not been relieved by the military 
triumphs of the man who was to destroy it. The 
long-drawn analysis of these barren years would indeed 
become wearisome from the uniform baseness of men 
and events, were it not for the answer which it supplies 
to the question how it was that a Government so 
detestable and so detested, in administration so weak, 
yet so tyrannical in the exercise of power, was able not 
only to stand for four years, but to carry on with 
success and glory a war against allied Europe. The 
character of the whole period is one of internal conflict. 
The Government welcomed after Thermidor as the 
liberators of France from the tyranny of the Reign of 


Terror had lost its character of strength and con- 
sistency at the same time as it threw off the yoke of a 
savage dictatorship. The detestation of the people 
for the men whom Mallet described as the 'valets 
qui ont pris le sceptre de leurs maitres apres les avoir 
assassints ' was brought to a head by their inability, 
associated as they were in all the crimes of their pre- 
decessors, to satisfy the popular demand for " peace 
and bread," a demand which in the streets, in the 
theatres, and in the cafes, with threats and with curses, 
with satire and with jest, was everywhere repeated with 
growing intensity. The Directory which succeeded to 
this period of anarchy no less faithfully adhered to 
revolutionary methods and was no less in opposition 
to the wishes of the mass of the nation, but as the 
champions of France against the arms of Europe they 
found in war their strength and safety. 

The abortive rising of the sections ensured the 
defeat of the Directors proposed by the newly elected 
third of the councils, moderate, distinguished and 
capable men ; and enthroned the five regicides La 
Reveillere-Lepaux, Rewbell, Le Tourneur, Barras and 
Sieves, the last of whom characteristically declined a 
place in the system he had elaborated and was re- 
placed by Carnot. Mallet drew the most unflattering 
portraits of the new rulers of France. ' Ce pauvre 
petit philosophailleur ' La Reveillere, the high priest 
of a new religion, 1 the acolyte of Robespierre, Petion 

1 Talleyrand's well-known mot is perhaps worth repeating. La 
Reveillere-Lepaux had recommended to the Institut a religious cele- 
bration of the three great acts of life birth, marriage and death. " I 
have only one observation to make," said Talleyrand, " Je"sus-Christ 
pour fonder sa religion a 6t6 cruciSe* et est ressuscite*. Vous auriez 
du tacher d'en faire autant." 


and Buzot ; and Rewbell, able, artful, experienced, of 
whom Camille Desmoulins had once said that his 
countenance was a study of nature intended to portray 
envy, hatred and malice, and whom Bonaparte after- 
wards detested but employed, were both drawn from 
the benches of the Extreme Left, which Mirabeau 
had once silenced with the words, ' Faites taire cette 
canaille'. Carnot,fort et fin, one of the heroes of the 
revolutionary legend, is described as engrossed in his 
special functions the direction of military operations, 
mixing little in intrigues of party, and willing to serve 
all in succession as he had shown in making himself 
the accomplice of the enormities of the Terror. " You 
cannot be wrong if you do the will of the people," 
was his political motto. Le Tourneur was a captain 
of engineers, Carnot's intimate friend, and, like him, 
always clinging to the dominant faction, * travailleur 
et paperassier\ At the head stood Barras, the patron 
of Bonaparte : Barras, ' qui joue le roi et le Genghis 
Khanj not unmindful of his birth and having much 
at heart to be considered and treated as a person 
of quality, a man of limited ability, without morality, 
honour or education, "having the tone and courage 
of a soldier, and bearing himself in politics with the 
same audacity as in his debauchery". 

The constitution over which these men presided 
would have been unworkable in any hands. It was 
largely inspired by the lesson of previous failures. The 
constitution of 1791 had erred as greatly in the dis- 
astrous preponderance it conferred upon the legislative 
functions of the State as the Conventional constitu- 
tion, which followed it, did in the tyranny it permitted 
to the executive in the supremacy of the Committees. 


The constitution of 1795, of which no better criticism 
exists than that passed on it by Necker in the work he 
published on the Revolution in the following year, 
aimed accordingly at dividing the body politic into 
three separate and independent parts, none of which 
should be supreme. It was an expedient favoured 
by the example of the framers of the American con- 
stitution. The Council of the Jeunes Gens was to 
supply the imagination which conceived legislation, 
the Council of the Anciens the wisdom which weighed 
and revised it, and the Directory, with the ministers 
subordinate to them, the whole executive power of 
the Government ; while the only connection between 
the legislature and the executive was through the 
machinery of exhortative addresses on the one side 
and ordinary and extraordinary envoys on the other. 
Such a separation of powers, if each was to remain 
a reality, was a caricature of constitutional theory. 
In the hands of honest rulers it must have produced 
confusion and deadlock, in those of the Directors it 
was simply, as Mallet du Pan expressed it, ' le moyen 
cfa liter avec les formes de la liber te la ne'cessite, la 
combinaison et la force du despotisme '. It ensured the 
failure of republican government, and led after two 
coups d ' tat to a military dictatorship. That it lasted 
so long as four years was due to the apathetic attitude 
of the mass of the people. 

The cannon of Vendemiaire, which established 
the Directory and crushed the Jeunesse, taught a 
lesson which for thirty years prevented any attempt 
at popular rising in the streets of Paris. Five years 
of baffled hopes of the restoration of order had 
produced a lasting impression upon the people ; hence- 



forth, when their will was being overruled by the 
Directory, when streets, bridges, and squares were 
bristling with troops and cannon, they went about 
their business or their pleasure with the same care- 
lessness with which the " Greeks of Constantinople 
in the last centuries of the Empire had seen every 
six months the dethronement or assassination of an 
emperor ". l The Directory entered upon their rule 
with the immense advantage of a people to govern 
who placed their safety in a total abnegation of 
political sentiment, in so far as their opinion might 
commit them to any line of action ; and the 30,000 
troops encamped at the gates of Paris were necessary 
only to protect them against their own extreme 
partisans. Among the people alone were heard the 
curses, threats and epigrams against the Government 
with which Paris continued to resound. The well- 
to-do classes preferred to cringe to their tyrants, and 
indulge in the stupid and selfish optimism of the Con- 
stitutionalists of 1792. Observers have familiarised 
us with the picture of the manners of the Directory, 
and many passages in this correspondence bring out 
with new details and new illustrations the union of 
luxury and privation characteristic of the time. Appal- 
ling accounts are given in the Correspondence of the 
licence and depravity in which the inhabitants of Paris 
sought compensation for their calamities. It was a 
state of things which was not confined to the capital. 
In Lyons 

" which is without bread or wood, where men live 
on rations of rice and burn their beds to warm them- 

1 " The people of France," wrote De Maistre, " will always accept 
their masters, never choose them " (Considerations sur la France). 


selves, where the pavement is still red with the blood 
of 7,000 citizens of every rank massacred and shot 
down last year (1794), there are two theatres and 
several public halls open and always full, and a brazen 
luxury flaunts in the spoils of its victims. The Revolu- 
tion has completed the extinction of the moral sense. 
Ties of relationship are weakened, the most atrocious 
egotism reigns in all hearts, honour and sentiment, duty 
and self-respect are no longer to be found." 

The agricultural population was the one class which 
had gained in material prosperity. These advantages 
they were determined to maintain ; the regime of tithe 
and gabelle, of parlements and intendants, was gone 
for ever, but the departments were ill-disposed to 
a Government which either neglected the duties of 
administration or harassed them with requisitions in 
men, money and kind, which persecuted the religion 
to which they still clung, and endeavoured to replace 
by republican usages the thousand social institutions 
of which the Church was the centre. Conservatism 
and dread of change were then, as now, the leading 
characteristics of the French peasantry, and it was 
even truer of them than of the Parisians, "that they 
would only turn upon the executioner when his axe 
was at their neck". "No revolution will ever begin 
with the people," is the profound reflection suggested 
to Mallet by the spectacle he witnessed ; it is a re- 
flection justified by the subsequent history of France, 
as well as by that of other countries. Princes and 
governments have often played for the lives and 
fortunes of their subjects ; never before had the 
spectacle been afforded of a great nation accepting 
its position as the stake in the game of party strife. 


It was a spectacle which might have aroused the 
scorn even of a Frenchman, and may perhaps excuse 
the passion with which Mallet, a foreigner, describes a 

"at once cruel and frivolous, servile and licentious, 
impetuous at one moment in its complaints, and forget- 
ting them without motive in the next, careless in 
suffering as in prosperity, incapable of foresight or of 
reflection, selling in the morning like savages the bed 
on which they are to lie at night ; such in every age 
has been the character of the people, such are they at 
the present hour, and such they will ever remain until 
the end of time." l 

( Les brigandages du Directoire sont des coups de 
poignard donnes a un cadavre? A double criticism 
is contained in these words, and the character of the 
Government is treated in the same detail as that of 
the demoralised nation which so long supported its 
rule. For the Directory soon showed itself to be a 
mere continuation of the revolutionary regime, and 
maintained its power by availing itself of the division 
of opinion in the country, and by holding the balance 
between disorganised factions. Dreaded by all, the 
new rulers of France feared every party, and, relying 
in the last resort upon the Jacobins, they were 
nervously sensitive to the secret disaffection of the 
majority whose opposition they had been obliged 
to crush before they could establish their authority. 
Their. policy thus continually betrayed a character of 
vacillation. After the coup d'Etat of Vendemiaire, 
they threw themselves upon the party by whose aid 
they had triumphed, and the rule of Terror started 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, vol. i., p. 186. 


again into activity, until the socialist conspiracy of 
Babceuf forced them to appeal to the support of the 
moderate parties by turning out the Jacobins from 
the places they had given them. Obliged to follow 
rather than direct the oscillations of public opinion, 
they alternately punished and caressed their extreme 
supporters, or struck at both parties by closing at 
the same time the anti-revolutionary cafes and the 
Jacobin club of the Pantheon, or by proposing 
an amnesty both for the members of the rebel sec- 
tions and for the authors of the September massacres. 
The Directory, the ministers, and the Councils were 
divided amongst themselves, and the constitution, 
which had drawn a hard and fast line between the 
executive and the legislature, provided no means by 
which a deadlock between the functions of govern- 
ment could be avoided or overcome. " The Directory 
cannot govern the Assemblies, it must therefore obey 
them, conspire, or perish." The Councils, becoming 
at every election more moderate and anti-revolu- 
tionary, found themselves in two years in complete 
opposition to the Directory, and in the struggle of 
Fructidor 1797 in which the people stood neutral 
the executive, in command of the whole material power 
of the State, was able once more to override the feeling 
of the nation expressed in their elected Assemblies. 
Legislation, meanwhile, had been paralysed by this 
growing hostility and by the changing character of 
the councils. The number of laws made from the 
beginning of the Republic has been computed at 22,271, 
the majority of which it was impossible from their 
contradictory nature to execute. The instability of the 
laws destroyed all confidence ; " they were received 


like tempests, accepted with indifference, and forgotten 
as soon as made ; " and the Government superintended 
the execution of those only which aided them in the 
work of spoliation, or secured the ends of their party. 
Administration, indeed, had ceased to exist in the 
country ; the ministers and higher officials, grossly 
ignorant of the laws they had to administer and of the 
wants of the people, were more occupied with the 
management of their army of constantly changing 
employees than with the duties proper to responsible 
government. Corruption was carried to its greatest 
excess by officials whose miserably inadequate pay was 
often two years in arrear, and such agents, naturally 
unable to exercise any real control, were universally 
ignored or disobeyed. Many provinces the Vivarais, 
Cevennes, Rouergue, Haute- Auvergne, and Bas-Lan- 
guedoc were practically in a state of independence. 
The western departments were in open rebellion, and 
in all brigandage partaking of the nature of the 
chouannerie was rife. '// riy a aucune police dans 
toute tetendue de la France,' and Paris, garrisoned by 
the troops of the Directory, alone afforded a semblance 
of government. The picture would seem overcharged 
had we not the avowal of the Directory themselves 
made to the Council of the Five Hundred in December 
1796 :- 

" Every part of the administration is in decay, 
the pay of the troops is in arrear, the defenders of the 
country are in rags, and their disgust causes them to 
desert ; the military and civil hospitals are destitute of 
all medical appliances, the State creditors and con- 
tractors can recover but small portions of the sums due 
to them, the high roads are destroyed and communi- 


cations interrupted, the public officials are without 
salaries from one end of the Republic to the other ; 
everywhere sedition is rife, assassination organised, and 
the police impotent ". 

Such was the official account of the chaos into 
which administration had fallen. But for the purpose 
of maintaining its ascendency and devoting the re- 
sources of the country to the revolutionary propaganda, 
the system of the Directory with its restless energy, its 
active and powerful will, supplied all mere deficiencies 
of administrative order. The very freedom from the 
ordinary restraints of morality and prudence was the 
great secret of its power. Burke insists upon the 

"dreadful energy of a State in which property has 
nothing to do with the government. The design is 
wicked, impious, aggressive, but it is spirited, it is daring, 
it is systematic. ... In that country entirely to cut off 
a branch of commerce, to extinguish a manufacture, to 
destroy the circulation of money, to violate credit, to 
suspend the course of agriculture, even to burn a city 
or lay waste a province of their own, does not cost 
them a moment's anxiety. To them the will, the wish, 
the want, the liberty, the toil, the blood of individuals 
is as nothing." 

The record of the financial operations of the 
Directory amply justifies Burke's description. The 
issue of paper money was a resource which the Terror 
and the Convention had almost exhausted, and the 
country was experiencing the inevitable consequences 
of the abuse of an inconvertible currency. 1 By the 

1 Mallet du Pan never encouraged the idea cherished by 
D'lvernois, Lord Auckland and even by Malouet, that the financial 
exhaustion of France would help the allies. "Those who in 


time the Directory came into office, assignats had been 
issued to the amount of 20,000,000,000 francs, and 
loo francs in assignats was worth one and a half in 
coin. In two months the daily issue had risen from 
100,000,000 to 600,000,000, and the total had increased 
to 40,000,000,000, while the value had fallen to \ per 
cent. The Government plunged into a vortex of frantic 
speculation, and anything like an accurate record of its 
fabulous indebtedness soon became impossible. Since 
1792 the Government had ceased to number the notes ; 
each minister coined money to supply his public and 
private necessities ; the country was flooded with false 
assignats which it was impossible to distinguish from 
the real ones, and no kind of proportion had been kept 
between the alleged security and the gigantic super- 
structure of credit which had risen upon it. The 
official estimates give a pitiable idea of the incapacity 
and dishonesty of the republican financiers. Since 
the fall of Robespierre various computations had 
put the national property at from 10,000,000,000 to 
17,000,000,000 of francs in assignats, thus officially 
recognising the depreciation by reckoning at the 
speculative price which paper bore in the market. 
The Finance Committee in 1795 announced the 
national property as worth 7,000,000,000 of ecus. 
The actual value of the national domains at the 
end of the Terror might have been put at from 
2,000,000,000 to 3,000,000,000, but such confusion and 

London," he wrote in 1796 (Correspondance polilique pour seruir 
a Fhistoire du republicanisme en France], "have predicted with 
such confidence that the fall of the assignats would bring about that 
of the Revolution and necessitate peace do not know France, the 
Revolution, or its agents." 


corruption prevailed in their administration that a real 
estimate was perhaps impossible, and the nature of the 
security made it difficult to sell at all except at prices 
low enough to tempt speculators. Much, therefore, 
as the Government were able to profit by trading in 
their own paper issues, desperate measures were soon 
necessitated by the growing worthlessness of their paper. 
In a time of peace and prosperity Necker had never 
been able to raise in a single year a loan of more than 
100,000,000. The Directory now demanded from an 
impoverished nation a loan of six times that amount, 
a sum equal to a year's revenue was to be raised within 
six weeks from a people whose whole effective capital 
in money and paper did not amount to more than 
double the sum to be levied ; and in spite of the most 
arbitrary and cruel methods of collection, in spite, in 
fact, of a general confiscation of money and goods, it 
may readily be conceived that not one-third of this 
loan was ultimately recovered by the Government. All 
taxation partook of the irregular nature of this loan, for 
regular means could never have supplied the immense 
necessities of the Directory. A large part was derived 
from the conquest and plunder of foreign countries, and 
the hope of foreign spoil was the principal inducement 
held out to the armies of France. At home the plunder 
of churches and of the Mobilier National, consisting 
of the confiscated plate, jewellery and valuables of the 
emigres, was soon exhausted. The national domains, 
almost unsaleable, were alienated with extraordinary 
recklessness. Indirect taxes, which had been in large 
part remitted by the first Assemblies in an approach 
to free-trade principles, were re-imposed in all their 
severity, while of the direct taxes the most important 


and onerous was the land-tax, half of which was 
collected in kind a system of wholesale plunder which 
is one of the most distinctive marks of Jacobin rule. 
Everything necessary for the support of the armies was 
obtained in this manner ; grain of all kinds was collected 
in Government granaries ; shirts, stockings, cloth and 
linen were obtained in the same way ; and at one time 
30,000 horses, at another 100,000 pairs of shoes, were 
to be supplied by contractors who, unpaid by the 
Government, enriched themselves by private pillage. 
Requisitions of men were not less fatal to the pros- 
perity of the country, nor less difficult to execute. The 
memory of the dragonnades was revived by the pursuit 
of the young conscripts ; hussars and gendarmes carried 
on the guerre aux requisitionnaires, who, at the least 
resistance, were tied together in twos or fours, and in 
this fashion were described as " flying to the defence 
of liberty"! 

In 1721 the scheme of Law had collapsed and 
shaken the very foundation of credit, yet the issue of 
paper had not exceeded 1,500,000,000. The destruc- 
tion of 30,000,000,000 of paper, at a time when half 
of the coin of the country had left it and the rest 
had been hoarded, might have been expected to pro- 
duce a catastrophe of incalculable dimensions. But 
the consequences of financial error and dishonesty, 
instead of falling on the country in one crushing blow, 
extended over a series of disastrous years. The Re- 
volution is distinguished by no one signal or special 
act of ruin, but almost every financial operation was in 
itself an act of bankruptcy, and every Government 
transaction a declaration of insolvency. 

It would be a hopeless task to enumerate the cases 


in which the Government suspended the payment of 
its creditors, sanctioned, by acknowledging, the de- 
preciation of its paper, or revoked the sales of State 
property. It is enough that repudiation began in 
1 792, when Claviere, the Girondist Minister of Finance, 
announced that a new issue of paper would be applied 
to defraying the expenses of the war instead of paying 
the State creditors, and that it did not end till the final 
act of bankruptcy by the Consulate. If the holders of 
the Government stock, whose condition was acknow- 
ledged by the doles of bread and meat occasionally 
awarded to them, were the worst sufferers by the 
Revolution, the officials and pensioners were hardly 
better off, and the only classes which profited by the 
general ruin were the speculators in gold and silver, 
coin and bullion. The fortunes made by these sang- 
sues publiques, as they were called, whose opulence 
was considered an insult to the general misery, excited 
(however ignorantly) the bitterest feeling in the popular 
mind, although the spirit of speculation had extended 
with the issue of assignats of small sums to every class 
of the population. Speculation was not confined to 
money, but prevailed with regard to the only other 
form of wealth which retained exchange value at a 
time when the state of the currency had necessitated 
a return to the primitive system of barter. Every 
shop was turned into a treasure house for the accumu- 
lation of commodities and provisions of the first 
necessity. The Government, with its hoards of grain 
and material for the support of the armies, joined in 
the struggle for existence. The average price of 
provisions rose to three times what it had been in 
1791, while the average consumption was largely 


reduced. The farmers, except under extreme pressure 
from taxation and Government requisitions, could not 
be induced to part with their grain in exchange for 
assignats, and the Government had to come to the 
assistance of private traders. The sustenance of Paris 
thus fell upon the nation, and rations were throughout 
the Revolution served out to the citizens of the capital. 
Subventions to the bakers and butchers enabled them 
to buy provisions from without and to sell at a price 
which, when 100 livres assignats were equal to two or 
three livres in coin, is represented by the statement 
that 100 livres in paper were worth from six to fourteen 
in coin in the operations of retail trade. 1 This, when 
labourers were paid in paper worth from a quarter to 
half its nominal value and officials and public creditors 
in paper at its full nominal value, meant a struggle for 
life of which Paris at this time presented a terrible 
picture. Crowds of people stood all night at the doors 
of the Treasury, of the shops, and of the places ap- 
pointed for the doles of food ; workmen diminished 
their hours of labour from want of strength to work 
longer, nor could strength be expected where life was 
constantly supported upon the most disgusting offal. 
The decline of the population was both the cause 
and the sign of the diminished wealth and produc- 
tiveness of the country. Mallet du Pan's estimates 
are probably in excess of the truth, he stated that 

1 Thus in February 1796 a dinner for two persons at the Palais 
Royal cost 1,500 francs in assignats, and for twenty, 20,000 francs a 
course ; in a fiacre, 6,000 francs ; a loaf of bread, 80 ; a pound of 
meat, 60 ; a pound of candles, 180 ; and a bottle of wine, 100 francs 
(Lady Blennerhassett's Madame de Stael, vol. ii., p. 278, French 


the population had decreased from 26,000,000 to 
18,000,000 but in the absence of adequate data for 
a calculation, the maintenance of armies beyond the 
frontier, the losses caused by emigration, war and 
famine, and the utter neglect of the hospitals and 
charitable institutions, were all causes of the decrease 
of the adult male population which Lord Malmesbury 
noticed in his journey through the North of France. 
Mallet testifies to the vide immense of men and the 
want of hands in the industrial pursuits, and the 
Government admitted the fact by the leave granted 
to the troops quartered in the interior to take 
part in the operations of the harvest 1 Even more 
serious, especially in its political aspect, was the 
decimation of the upper classes of France by death, 
ruin and emigration. The rate of interest, which 
before the Revolution had stood at 4 or 6 per cent. 
per annum, rose during its course to 6 or 8, and never 
sank below 2 per cent, per month ; credit was indeed 
destroyed, and no branch of industry escaped the 
general decay. 

"No people were ever put to so cruel a test, none 
ever expiated their faults by greater sufferings ; a 
capital of thirty milliards is becoming worthless in the 
very hands of its possessors ; industry, commerce and 

1 M. Taine, in his volume on the Revolution, adduces some 
valuable evidence on this point. He estimates the probable deaths 
from privation at more than a million, and quotes the calculation of 
M. Leonce de Lavergne that another million perished in war from 
1792 to 1800. Bordeaux lost a tenth of its population, Rheims an 
eighth, and Lyons, after the siege, was reduced from 130,000 to 
80,000 inhabitants. Against these losses must be set the very 
noticeable increase in the infantile population resulting from early 


labour of every kind are destroyed at their source ; the 
needs of the war have depopulated the empire, misery 
has no limits, famine again besieges Paris. . . . Miser- 
able skeletons daily fall dead of starvation in the streets, 
the distribution of bread presents the aspect of a siege, 
and the approaches to the bakers' shops resemble a 
field of battle." ' 

" Like the Louisiana savage who cuts down the 
tree in order to gather the fruit," like a " spendthrift 
dissipating his patrimony," the Directory devoured 
the resources of the country with a profound indiffer- 
ence to any object but that of maintaining their own 
power. If peace for the allies meant a warrant of 
insurrection to their populations, much more for France 
would it have meant a revolt of the people and the 
armies against the authority of their rulers. ' Nous 
serious perdus si nous faisions la paixj said Sieves; 2 
the only hope of the Directory lay in the vigorous 
and unscrupulous prosecution of the war ; and their 
system had all the force of a fundamental dogma, a 
policy of State, an object of fanaticism, and a result of 

" This pretended Government treats France as 
Lord Clive treated the Hindus. They have accus- 
tomed the country to every kind of exaction and to 
the expectation of still worse things. . . . They fear 
the return of the generals and armies into the interior, 
they carry on a war of insolent proselytism into which 
they have imported every upstart passion, nor does 
it require much reasoning to perceive that a faction 
which is also a sect, which has founded a Republic upon 
the hatred and destruction of kings, which has over- 
turned an ancient Monarchy, massacred a royal house, 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, i., 370. ' 2 Ibid., ii., 49. 


and founded its policy as well as its security upon the 
extension of its destroying principles, will only lay 
down its arms when it has no longer the strength to 
carry them." 

From the very beginning the party attacked in the 
Brunswick Manifesto had retaliated by a propaganda 
of their principles in the camp and country of the 
enemy, and the Girondists, the principal authors of 
the war, were the first to formulate this policy. The 
realisation of the scheme of " philosophic conquests " 
had been interrupted for a moment by the Jacobin 
rule and by the death struggle of factions within the 
Convention, and Danton, the most nearly allied of the 
Jacobins to the Gironde, alone seems to have had a 
definite conception of foreign policy. The Revolution 
of Thermidor brought to the front the remains of the 
Gironde. Of this party Mallet observes, that 

" neither the horrors of that sanguinary regime nor 
the oppression under which they groaned during the 
dictatorship of the Committee of Public Safety, neither 
their misfortunes nor the death of so many of their 
number upon the scaffold, neither experience nor 
reason nor the duty of closing the bleeding wounds 
of their country and of giving her peace, had touched 
these theorists. They would sooner see the universe 
in ashes than abandon their design of submitting it to 
their doctrines. On pent tenter, on pent esptrer la con- 
version (fun sce'le'rat, jamais celle tfun philosophe" * 

The foreign policy of the Directory was characterised 
by the philosophic insolence, the spirit of proselytism, 
and the desire of universal revolution which animated 
this sect. The Decree of Fraternisation of 1792 was 

1 Correspondence for Vienna , i., 152. 


followed with literal exactness by the Directory in every 
country into which their armies could penetrate. All 
the authorities so ran that famous document the 
nobles and priestly classes, as well as every privilege 
contrary to equality, were to be suppressed. All taxes 
and former sources of revenue were to be remitted, 
property was to be placed under the administration of 
the invaders to guarantee the expenses of the war, 
while to aid them in regaining their liberty the repub- 
lican coinage was to be placed at their disposal. The 
people were then to be summoned to primary assem- 
blies, to elect their civil and military magistrates under 
the surveillance of Conventional commissioners. No 
plan was too gigantic for the dreams of the Directory, 
none too extravagantly immoral to be proclaimed to 
their intended victims. They aimed at nothing short 
of a peace which should overturn the rights of nations ; 
but they hoped to arrive at such a peace by effecting 
partial pacifications, and endeavouring in this way to 
split up the coalition opposed to them. Powers thus 
neutralised were treated rather as vassals and satellites 
of the Great Republic than as independent States ; and 
the Directory is found protesting, on the one hand, 
that the Swedish people may always count on their 
feelings of affection, and, on the other, insisting on the 
expulsion of French emigres from Savoy or of the 
British minister from Switzerland. The arms of the 
Directory did not constitute half the danger which 
their enemies had to fear. The rule of the French 
envoys in the smaller neutral States was compared 
to that of the Pashas in Turkish provinces. Their 
mission was to stir up by every means dissatisfaction 
among the people against their rulers, and so prepare 


the ground for the entry of the troops who were to 
complete the work. Every country which had the 
misfortune to be in diplomatic relations with France 
received in its midst trained Jacobins who, using their 
official character as a cloak, turned their legation or 
consulate into a meeting-place for traitors and con- 

The allied Powers were little fitted for a contest 
with such enemies. "When Europe was invaded by 
200,000 barbarians it was not nearly so incapable of 
offering a resistance as it has now become by its own 
act." The balance of power had been overthrown by 
the Revolution. During the preceding century it had 
been possible for either of the German Powers to stand 
single-handed against France, for Austria in the War 
of Succession, and Prussia in the seven years' War, 
had held their own against their German rival and 
France combined. The immense accession of territory 
to the French State now exposed Germany to the full 
force of attack from the north and west, for the inter- 
vening bulwarks of Belgium, Holland, and the German 
provinces west of the Rhine no longer existed. The 
double position of Austria as a German State and as 
head of the Empire was another source of weakness, 
and the correspondence of Mallet was intended to 
strengthen Colleredo as against Thugut, to inspire 
an imperial as opposed to a narrowly selfish national 
policy. The enthusiasm of the French found no 
counterpart in the policy of the allies. Defence is 
usually weaker than attack, and the championship of 
the principles of social and political order, although a 
task which appealed to the sympathies of a Gentz or a 

Burke, could not be expected to awaken a response 



among princes who displayed heroic insensibility to 
the general interests, or among populations whose 
condition was in many cases worse than that of the 
French before the Revolution. The leaders of Ger- 
many were unable even to appeal with effect to the 
sentiment which in the long run was to prove fatal 
to French ascendency the national patriotism of 
the people ; they persisted in their stupid and selfish 
schemes of aggrandisement and of the annihilation of 
France as a political power, at a time when Europe 
was being devoured " bit by bit like the leaves of an 
artichoke " by the great Republic. Amid conditions 
which both for France and Europe had totally changed, 
they continued to fight as they had fought all through 
the century, and to make war upon a nation ' freni- 
tique et desocialisee* on the basis which they had 
employed in the struggle against Louis XIV. 

The correspondence is full of the boldest criticism 
of the ambiguity of conduct, the uncertainty of prin- 
ciple, " the effeminate presumption without measure 
in its terror or its confidence" which constituted the 
policy of the allies. Of all the errors of that policy 
none were more fatal than the connection with the 
emigres, whom Burke has described as "a well- 
informed, sensible, ingenious, high -principled, and 
spirited body of cavaliers," and in whose restoration, 
together with that of the ancien regime, he placed his 
chief hopes of a counter-revolution in France. Mallet, 
as we know, estimated very differently their capacity 
and judgment. An expedition like that of Quiberon 
could have been undertaken only by men totally igno- 
rant of the feeling of France, and he has no words 
strong enough to blame their wrongheadedness, their 


egotism, their folly, their want of character and good 

" As absurd as on the first day of the Revolution, 
they have learnt only how to march to the prison or 
the scaffold, a contemptible and servile virtue which 
will never embarrass their tyrants. . . . We look in 
France for a leader of force and wisdom. We find a 
king buried at Verona, passing his days in retirement and 
self-effacement, the first prince of the blood established 
at Holyrood, a military command in the hands of a 
third who is far too feeble to inspire any feeling of 
terror or confidence, and whose absolute spirit and plan 
of counter-revolution by force of arms repel three- 
fourths of the partisans of the throne. We find obscure 
and imbecile agents employed without discernment. 
. . . The obstinate notion," he continues, "of recover- 
ing France by miserable attacks in detail, by theatrical 
plots, by means of the chouans who are permitted to 
attack all who have not assumed the livery of Coblentz, 
the absence of all object, of all leadership, of any prin- 
ciple of concentration, the absurd idea that the nation 
will rise against its representatives to set up the old 
regime, the total ignorance of what is to be hoped or 
feared from the war, the constant neglect of all means 
of persuasion or of policy, the contrast so often ap- 
parent between operations from the exterior and events 
in the interior : " 

such are the faults which Mallet signalises as 
those which will lead, if anything can, to the establish- 
ment of the Republic in France. In these lines we 
have more than a criticism, we have an indication of 
a policy which Mallet never ceased to press upon 
the Powers. He had endeavoured to measure with 
accuracy the real sentiments of the French, and to 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, ii., 21. 


reveal to the Emperor, in his careful analyses, the 
actual strength of the anti-Jacobin elements in France. 
The conclusion he constantly maintained was that the 
vast majority was unfavourable to the Revolutionary 
Government, that their only articulate motives were a 
desire for the return of peace, of plenty, and of pro- 
sperity, a hatred of foreigners, and a dread of the 
restoration of the old regime. The former government 
was, he said, as much " effaced in public opinion as that 
of Clovis ". It is the same with feudalism, with the 
power and popularity of the Church, and with a thou- 
sand usages " as totally buried as though they had never 
existed". Mallet was in absolute disagreement with 
Burke, as little acquainted at this time with the public 
opinion of France as he had been blind to its condition 
before the Revolution, in his estimate of the necessity 
or possibility of a restoration of the old order in France. 
He attached no superstitious importance to any one 
form of government. A born republican would hardly, 
like Burke, found an argument upon the danger of a 
republic as a neighbour, and we find him declaring 
that whether the Government were monarchical or 
republican mattered little : it was the Revolution with 
which it was impossible to treat. Mallet, however, 
like Mirabeau, came early to the conclusion that in 
France the monarchy was " the only anchor of safety " ; 
and he saw among the people no such prejudice against a 
modified and constitutional form of monarchical gov- 
ernment as existed against the ancien regime. But if 
the people would accept, they would and could do 
nothing of themselves to bring about a counter-revolu- 
tion of whatever kind. l jamais un pareil peuple ne 
s 1 arrachera de lui-meme au joug qu^il sest donne! The 


necessary impulse might, Mallet hoped, be given by 
the action either of the allies or of the ckouans, by 
means of the foreign or of the civil war. But all hope 
from the royalist insurgents had been lost from the 
moment when they took up arms without waiting for 
the time when they could have acted as the auxiliaries 
of a party in the legislative body, in Paris, or in the 
country. Disconnected risings in pursuance of plans 
dictated from abroad, brigandage practised by the 
rebels upon all who had not totally abjured the Revo- 
lution, upon constitutional priests and Royalists, upon 
peasants and townsmen, had led to a system of bloody 
reprisals, to the discredit of the royalist cause, and 
finally to the destruction of the rebels themselves. 
A combined and well-supported movement and some 
rapid successes might have placed the Vendeans in a 
position to avail themselves of the moral resources offered 
by the state of France. By a formal proclamation to 
the people, and to the Assembly, they should have 
demanded a free convocation of the primary Assemblies, 
and laid before them for decision the question between 
Monarchy and the Revolution. Some such policy as 
this would more seriously have embarrassed the Gov- 
ernment than any number of battles, and given a 
point dappui to the reactionary feeling of the country. 
Whatever criticism applied to the conduct of the 
civil war applied with even greater force to the conduct 
of the foreign war. The allies should have appeared 
not as principals but as auxiliaries of a party in France, 
not as enemies of the nation but as enemies of a faction. 
The ' folle manic de batailler' should have had no 
place in their councils. Not a step should have been 
taken without full consideration of its effects in France, 


without concert with the counter-revolutionary leaders 
in the country. " Never will the people recognise a 
king given them by their enemies." They should have 
relied upon moral means rather than upon arms. Again 
and again Mallet counsels the issuing of proclamations 
which should reassure the French as to the intention 
of the allies, and dispel their prejudice that the Powers 
would pretend to dictate the laws or government under 
which they were to live, or that they were armed for 
the restoration of the ancien regime. He insisted that 
it would be all over with the Republic if the Powers 
could reduce the question to the solemn and definite 
alternative of peace and monarchy, or war and repub- 
licanism ; and that such a declaration, supported by 
strong defensive measures on the Rhine and a succes- 
sion of short and sympathetic exhortations, would reveal 
to the people a possibility of ending their miseries, and 
encourage the Royalists to organise a combined move- 

It was the same policy which Mallet du Pan had 
urged and recommended from the very beginning of 
the war. He continued to recommend it with a persis- 
tence and even hopefulness which cannot but strike the 
reader of this Correspondence, and which has led some 
of his critics to condemn his advocacy of an "impossible " 
policy, 1 his adherence to a hopeless cause, as evidence 
of a want of practical sagacity. Yet it is precisely as 
a practical policy on the part of one who saw that the 
Republic meant anarchy, and who knew that a return 
to despotism could not be a final solution, that both 
Mallet's adherence to the idea of a Constitutional 

1 " Conseil fort raisonnable sans doute, mais dont on peut se de- 
mander s'il etait bien executable." G. Valette. 


Monarchy and his action as regards the war are capable 
of defence. 

Theoretically, of course, nothing could be more 
unsound than the policy of foreign interference, for no 
maxim in politics seems more indisputable than that 
one nation should not interfere in the domestic disputes 
of another. Nothing could have been more imprudent 
than for the King to traffic with foreign Powers. But 
the war was none of the King's making, nor, as we 
have seen, of Mallet's counselling. It must be borne 
in mind that Mallet did not go to Frankfort until Louis 
XVI. had made every effort to prevent the war, and 
he himself had done all that was possible to point out 
its dangers. The allies were approaching as enemies 
whether the King interfered or not, the revolutionary 
parties in the capital were pressing forward to destroy 
him, and his only chance lay in attempting to play the 
part of a mediator. Peace being out of the question, 
it only remained for one who, unlike Rivarol, refused 
to stand aside to counsel the conduct of the war upon 
reasonable and intelligible principles. Mallet could 
not foresee the strategical blundering by which, in its 
opening stages, Brunswick and Coburg were to make 
its success impossible. It may be admitted that he 
deceived himself as to the effect the war would have 
in uniting public opinion in France against the foreign 
enemy. He was wrong in thinking that the timid and 
long-suffering majority would revolt against the Jacobin 
rule. He was mistaken in his view of the objects of 
the allies. But months before this correspondence 
opened any such illusions had finally disappeared, and 
in 1795 he confessed that a general peace was the best 
thing to be hoped for. During the spring and summer 


of that year, when Prussia and Spain made terms with 
the Republic and Sweden and Naples courted her 
friendship ; when the armies of France, exhausted by 
her gigantic efforts, and those of Austria, engrossed in 
the Polish imbroglio and impervious to British exhorta- 
tions and subsidies, stood idly opposite to each other on 
the Rhine, such a peace seemed in sight and with it the 
restoration of Constitutional Monarchy in France. The 
grand opportunity, not for want of advice from Mallet 
du Pan, was missed, and by the end of the year it was 
evident that the struggle between France and Austria 
was to be renewed in a more menacing and portentous 
form than before. 

Mallet had long foreseen such a development which 
was to end only with the creation of a new Europe, a 
Continent transformed in a national and military sense ; 
and so far from his persistence in counselling the effec- 
tive prosecution of the war, and in endeavouring to 
convince the Austrian Government against its will of 
the real character of the struggle, being a sign of want 
of practical sagacity, it is, in fact, a proof of enlightened 
statesmanship. That he should have lost faith in the 
will and capacity of the allied Governments and of the 
Princes of the royal house of France to terminate the 
convulsion was natural, it was indeed justified by all 
the facts ; but it throws into still stronger relief the 
loyalty, consistency and courage with which he con- 
tinued to maintain their cause, and the cause of con- 
stitutional order and freedom. 

The events of 1796, indeed, tested these qualities 
to the uttermost, and reduced him to a state of mind 
something like despair. His comments on the progress 
of the Italian campaign show how fully he realised 


what the French successes threatened for the European 
powers. ' L? Europe estfinie? he had exclaimed on hear- 
ing of the Peace of Bale. The Italian campaign, he 
confessed, finally led him to abandon all hope that the 
allies would ever unite in good faith against the common 
enemy. " Two hundred thousand barbarians," he wrote 
in May 1796, "once invaded the Roman Empire which 
had the advantage of unity, science, discipline, entrench- 
ments and fortifications. To-day six hundred thousand 
barbarians are swarming over a multitude of decrepit 
and divided States governed by marionettes of papier 
mackd." To De Castries he observed in July that 
Europe had reached the end prophesied in vain by him 
during the last four years. " She must pass under the 
yoke and assume the bonnet rouge, or fight ; and fight she 
will not except on the retreat. This is the first moment 
since the origin of the Revolution at which all hope 
and all courage have abandoned me." To another 
he wrote : " Whether the King takes up his residence 
in the North or the South, on the Rhine or the Neva, 
appears to me absolutely unimportant. They will come 
back to the monarchy, but probably neither you nor 
I shall witness that event." And, in spite of the brilliant 
and unexpected victories of the Archduke Charles over 
Jourdan on the Danube, and the retreat of Moreau 
which saved the Empire by frustrating Bonaparte's 
daring plan to meet the two generals with his Italian 
army in the heart of Germany, he wrote in November 
to Gallatin : " The future is more black with clouds 
than ever before". But he kept all the time a brave 
front in his official correspondence, and speculated 
hopefully on the military results of the successes of 
the Archduke. 


Early in the same year, just before the victories of 
Bonaparte, Mallet du Pan had given expression to the 
views we have followed in his correspondence in the 
only writing l he had published since 1793. His object 
in penning this fragment, an introduction to a projected 
series of letters, was to say what a crowd of discerning 
people in Paris dared not say for themselves, and to 
speak with such emphasis and force that the Directory 
should be unable to keep it out of the country. 
Nothing that he ever wrote surpasses this pamphlet 
in scathing eloquence. I need not dwell on the denun- 
ciation, never more powerfully drawn, of the revolution- 
ary methods and leaders which was intended to rouse 
the Parisian public to a sense of their own degradation, 
and to a recognition of the tyranny to which the 
Revolution was inevitably tending. But it is impos- 
sible to pass over the passages which read like an 
answer to the Considerations 2 in which Joseph de 
Maistre had exalted the wisdom of the Declaration of 
Verona, repudiated any transaction with revolutionary 
opinion, and thereby placed fresh arms in the ignorant 
and prejudiced hands of the Jacobins d 1 aristocratic. 
In language no less elevated than that of the champion 
of absolutism, he demonstrated for the hundredth time 
the hopelessness of the attempt to lead the people of 
France back to the twelfth century, to rebuild with the 

1 Correspondance politique pour servir a rhistoire du Rtpubli- 
canisme frangais ; published in the spring of 1796, with the motto, 
"Monstrum horrendum informe ingens cui lumen ademptum ". It 
was published in Switzerland, and at once reprinted in Paris, where it 
went through three editions in two months, being openly sold in the 
Palais Royal, with the applause of all parties except the Jacobins. 

2 Also published in 1796. 


dust of the ancien regime the solid palace of their 
ancestors. Granted that the royal domination over a 
people which had accepted with fickle acquiescence 
one usurpation after another might, if it were once re- 
established, be maintained, where was the force, where 
were the armies, the treasure, the prestige which could 
re-establish it? How could the Revolution be dethroned 
but at the hands of the nation itself, and what meaning 
did the Vendean device, "God and the King," convey 
to the immense majority of French citizens who had 
shared in the errors and the actions, the crimes and the 
advantages of the Revolution ? Again did Mallet affirm 
the conviction that of all the causes which had contri- 
buted to the energy of the Revolution and prolonged 
its duration the foreign war had been paramount. As 
a result of it the Republic, by a strange contradiction, 
was about to be adopted and recognised in the political 
hierarchy at the moment when in France itself both 
rulers and ruled were confessing the impossibility of 
maintaining the Republican regime. The struggle 
had worn out France but not the Revolution ; it had 
proved what was in doubt in 1792, that the Revolution 
was stronger than Europe. Never had the writer ex- 
posed in more masterly phrases the errors which had 
brought Europe to the alternative of an eternal war or 
a disastrous peace with a faithless but indomitable 
adversary. A comparison of modern Europe with the 
Greeks of the lower Empire brings the melancholy 
review to a close. The anarchy of men's minds, he 
declared, had killed public spirit, as cosmopolitanism 
and the multiplicity of interests had destroyed all 
common national sentiment. ' Prisse le genre humain 
pourvu que je reste debout sur ses mines avec mes 


loisirs, mon or, et mes amusements. Voila le patriotisme 
du 1 8me siecle ! ' * 

This pamphlet is remarkable among Mallet's writ- 
ings for its almost complete absence of positive advice 
and guidance. 2 The moral was perhaps too plain to 
need developing. But the whole utterance is that of a 
man profoundly and justly discouraged, speaking no 
less to satisfy his own pent-up emotions than to rouse 
others to exertion. To see the peril, to point it out, 
to be unable to prevent his friends from courting 
and inviting it, to watch the fulfilment in ever-increasing 
measure of his worst anticipations, had been and was 
still to be the lot of Mallet du Pan ; to drink deep 
of the cup so bitter to the few in every generation who 
are at once loyal and far-sighted. No wonder that his 
work from this time took a deeper tinge of despondency 

1 Similar reflections were suggested to him in 1798 by the 
spectacle of the cowardice of the Swiss Government and magistracy- 
contrasted with the warlike energy of the intrepid peasantry and people 
(letter to De Pradt, iyth Feb.). "A force d'urbanite*, d'epicure'isme, 
de mollesse, tout ce qui est riche, grand de naissance, proprie"taire, 
homme comme il faut, est absolument d'etremp'e. II n'y a plus ni sang, 
ni sentiment, ni dignite", ni raison, ni capacite*. L'amour du repos 
est le seul instinct qui leur reste, ce sont les Indiens que les Mogols 
trouvent couches sur des feuilles de palmier au moment ou ils 
viennent les exterminer et les piller. Lorsque les nations en sont la, 
il faut qu'elles perissent. Le Gouvernement en Europe etait depuis 
trente ans une mascarade : on allait par le mouvement imprime ; 
mais au premier choc ces vieilles machines sont tombe's en poudre, 
et Ton a vu combien elles etaient creuses." 

2 Malouet reproached him for leaving no hope and suggesting no 
remedies. "As an historian," he wrote, "you have no doubt the 
right to pronounce judgment ; and I am much of your opinion. But 
you are no longer an historian, you are a councillor of the European 
Diet " (Malouet's Memoirs, vol. ii., pp. 466 and 468). 


while gaining in authority and sombre power. To 
contemporaries impatient of a speedy issue out of their 
afflictions there was little comfort to be obtained from 
his words. While it was still true that he believed that 
the Revolution would end in a Restoration (and time 
showed that he was right), it was in no sense true that 
he believed it to be imminent. 

" It is in vain," he said, 1 " to count on the fall of the 
Republic. Those who consider that the ' imperish- 
able ' Republic will perish in time are certainly right ; 
but if they mean that its fall in the more or less remote 
future will save Europe, if they fancy that everything 
will suddenly change from black to white, they are 
mistaken, for the Republic of to-day may be succeeded 
by a monarchical or dictatorial Republic. Who can 
tell ? In twenty years a nation in ferment may give a 
hundred different forms to such a Revolution." 

To students of the Revolution his writings become 
increasingly valuable, and this pamphlet is full of 
instruction with its serried arguments, its command of 
philosophic maxim and historical analogy, its indignant 
eloquence. In England it would have secured for its 
author the posthumous fame of a Burke ; in France it 
has remained to this day unnoticed and unquoted. 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, Letter of 2Qth May 1796. 





" YOUR last book has not pleased your friends as much 
as your other writings ; they say that you wrote it in a 
rage." Thus reported Mallet's son from London of the 
pamphlet just described ; they were no less dissatisfied 
with another which shortly followed it and which 
breathed a different spirit. The Lettre a un Ministre 
d*tat, published in March 1797, was a masterly sketch 
of the diplomatic and military situation of the Continent, 
and of the policy of the Directors, the * five vizirs 
qui dune main tiennent la tUe sanglante dun roi, en 
recevant de Fautre les suppliques de C Europe '. Again 
he insisted on the boundless and redoubtable ambition 
of the French Government, again he attempted to warn 
Austria and England against falling into the trap of 
separate negotiation with the Republic, and to point out 
the danger to which each of these nations was exposed. 
He showed in the case of Austria how the conquests 
in Italy and their developments would decide the fate 
of the Rhine and of a divided and discordant Germany ; 
and he described the designs of the Directory against 
England in terms which doubtless appeared exagger- 
ated, but which, as the event proved, were little short 


of prophetic. With a Government animated by the 
principles which he painted in colours lurid but exact 
no terms were possible, and there was no safety for 
Europe so long as she remained governed by egotistic 
motives and in perpetual conflict with herself. '// 
riy a pas un instant a perdre] he wrote, 'nous touchons 
a I'heure des repentirs ; celle de la preservation sdloigne 
a pas precipites? 

None of Mallet du Pan's appeals to public opinion 
met with less response than this call for vigorous action 
and statesmanship, but none was more speedily justified 
by events. His son, who had been in England since 
November 1796, engaged, as he said, in the "sicken- 
ing occupation " of soliciting employment, has left the 
following description of his emigre friends and their 
opinions at this time : 

"I was received," 1 he writes, "with open arms 
by a large circle consisting chiefly of Constitutional 
Royalists. . . . Malouet and Montlosier considered 
me almost in the light of a son, and a day seldom 
passed without my seeing them. I met at Malouet's 
house, and also at the house of Princesse d'Henin, 
who lived under the same roof with Lally, and had 
a regular evening circle, many distinguished emi- 
grants : the Archbishop of Bordeaux (Cice), who was 
Garde des Sceaux in the year 1790, a shrewd, sen- 
sible man ; the Baron de Gilliers ; the Chevalier de 
Panat ; the Chevalier de Grave, a Constitutional minis- 
ter all clever men. The Prince de Poix (Noailles), 
a Constitutionalist, who had been captain of the 
king's guard ; the Comte (now Due) de Duras, of a 
great family, highly accomplished, and of fine manners. 
Such was the respect entertained for my father by all 
those persons, many of them of great rank, and not a 

1 Reminiscences. 


few of distinguished talents, that they treated me during 
my stay in England with a degree of kindness and con- 
sideration to which I had no sort of personal claim. I 
was assailed on my arrival with questions as to the 
state of public opinion in France, and particularly at 
Paris ; and it was pretty clear that my friends were on 
the look-out for such circumstances as would enable 
them to make their peace with any Government de 
facto founded on moderate principles. If Saint-Evre- 
mond, petted as he was in England by the monarch 
and the court, sighed for his Paris society, what must 
have been the feelings of the French emigrants ; who, 
although assisted as a body of suffering loyalists, had 
been constantly kept at arm's length by Mr. Pitt ; had 
not been treated with any favour either by the court or 
the royal family, and saw a war, avowedly of principle, 
almost exclusively directed to British objects. They 
did not therefore conceal their just and laudable grati- 
fication that the Convention, however hateful in its 
excesses, should have asserted and secured the inde- 
pendence of their native land." 

There was great exultation among them at Bona- 
parte's military successes x ; they imagined that the Re- 
storation they longed for would come about through his 
means, and they looked forward to the elections which 
were to take place in the spring of 1797, for another 
third of the councils, as a sort of era in their affairs. 
They were therefore not at all in the mood to acquiesce 
in Mallet du Pan's gloomy views, and rather took the 

1 "Tu n'as pas une ide'e," J. L. Mallet writes to his father, "du 
degre" d'admiration de MM. Lally, de Poix, Macpherson, Montlosier 
pout Bonaparte, et pour les grands hommes de la France actuelle ; 
Ce'sar n'est qu'un e"colier a cote' du moderne vainqueur d'ltalie. Us 
sont profonde'ment las de Immigration." " Moins fier que vous," writes 
Malouet, " je m'accommoderais avec toutes les re'publiques du monde a 
la seule condition de finir tranquillement mes jours dans mon pays ! " 


son to task for his father's opinions. Malouet himself 
blamed the energy of his friend's anathemas, urged him 
to show a more conciliatory disposition to the existing 
institutions of France, and even remonstrated seriously 
with him for his continued support of the legitimate 
King. Mallet du Pan retorted that the dread his 
friends entertained of a return to absolute monarchy in 
France was gradually bringing them over to the scheme 
of a republic ! 

It would have been strange indeed if, with his 
knowledge of opinion in France and of the methods 
of the Jacobins on the one hand and of the Royalists 
on the other, Mallet du Pan had shared the pacific 
illusions of his London friends. ' Nous avons vu vingt 
fois le port,' he wrote to De Castries, ' et la tempete 
rejette sans cesse notre barque en pleine mer' But he 
did not despair, and with great spirit he threw himself 
into the internal struggle in Paris which was threaten- 
ing the existence of the Directory, only, however, to 
prepare for himself another and this time a final dis- 
appointment. 1 By May 1797 the reaction became so 

1 A curious letter to his friend, Saladin, about this time shows 
his hopes. " Vous verrez," he says, "cet echafaudage de gouverne- 
ment tomber en ruines au pied du trone, ou s'abimer dans 1'anarchie. 
. . . Plus nous avan9ons, plus j'observe le caractere national et sa 
tendance, et plus je me persuade que la monarchic sera re'tablie a 
1'improviste sans que les tatonneurs, les politiques, les essayeurs con- 
stitutionnels ayent le temps d'achever leurs experiences." Windham, 
who saw this letter, thought on the contrary that "the victorious 
Republic would gradually establish itself in a way that, though subject 
to many convulsions and many changes, it will not be finally over- 
turned. I shall listen with great delight to any one who will furnish 
me with the hope for a contrary event, and derive considerable comfort 
from finding that such is the opinion of a person so well acquainted 



pronounced that he allowed himself to dwell upon the 
possibility of success, and formed plans for his own 
return to France and the re-establishment of the 
Mercure. His son, who had travelled through France in 
the preceding autumn, and who returned to Paris in June 
1797, thus described the situation as he found it : 

"How far the Revolution was to recede, to what point 
of its career it would be brought back, was the question 
every one was asking himself. The executive Govern- 
ment, most of the generals, and Bonaparte in himself 
a host were on the side of the Revolution, and pledged 
to its results. On the other hand a great mass of 
property, of talent, and even some great military names, 
such as Pichegru and Moreau, were inclined for a 
limited monarchy, and were endeavouring by their 
exertions and influence, but without avowing their 
ultimate object, to obtain a repeal of the more obnoxi- 
ous revolutionary laws, and to displace the revolu- 
tionary leaders. Others again, particularly at Paris 
and in great commercial towns, wearied of war and 
political dissensions, longed for any Government dis- 
posed to a compromise, and to measures of conciliation 
towards the classes that had so severely suffered. 

"... Nothing could exceed the contempt and hatred 
with which the Government seemed to be held by the 
great mass of the people ; nor did any one attempt to 
conceal it. At the tables dhote, the terms of gueux, 
brigands, etc., were freely applied to the ' five kings/ the 
members of the Directory. At Moiselles, near Paris, 
the inn-keeper called out to a boy in the yard to see 
whether the ducks had been fed, and being answered 
in the affirmative, he then inquired for the reprbsen- 
tans ; and we found that the dindons (turkeys) had 
been dignified with the title of Representatives of the 
People ! " 

with the French character, with the actual state of affairs in France, 
and with all the circumstances of the Revolution, as M. Mallet du Pan." 


But he saw also that this feeling was " unconnected 
with any disposition to question the authority of these 
degraded rulers. The Revolution had crushed all 
resistance." 1 

Meanwhile the press was in full cry against the 
Government, and violent and frivolous as was the tone 
of papers like Le The, Le Menteur, Le Journal des 
Rieurs, they faithfully represented public opinion. The 
result of the elections, a crushing defeat of the Direc- 
tory, was a demonstration, in the words of Royer 
Collard one of the most distinguished of the newly 
elected candidates, that the country desired the "de- 
finitive and absolute proscription of the revolutionary 
monster". The majority of the two Councils, thus 
transformed, found themselves in absolute antagonism 
to the Directorial executive, and a deadlock was pro- 
duced with which, as Necker had foreseen, the Consti- 
tution had provided no machinery to deal. Mallet 
commented at this time on the distorted constitution- 
alism which had substituted independence for separa- 
tion of functions, and contrasted the working of the 
British constitution with that of the Directory. 2 He 
realised at once that the only solution was the em- 
ployment of force : ' le sabre des soldats fera taire 
Partillerie des langues et des plumes'? The death 
struggle between the two parties was protracted by 
the powerlessness of either to strike the other down. 
For a time indeed it seemed that the opposition had 
a chance of a successful military coup. "Paris," 
wrote Mallet to Sainte-Aldegonde (29th July), "is in 

^Reminiscences. 2 Letter to Vienna, igth July 1797. 

3 Letter to Sainte-Aldegonde, zgth April 1797. 


the midst of a crisis which will ripen our affairs or 
throw them back indefinitely. . . . Pichegru is abhorred 
by the Jacobins. Remember what I told you of this 
general two years ago : note that he will play an 
immense part, and that all our hopes are in him. The 
people have given him their confidence, and will march 
joyfully under his orders. We are sure of 25,000 
resolute men in Paris alone." That Pichegru with his 
great reputation might have organised some such force 
is certain. 

" Peuchet," wrote the younger Mallet, "than whom 
no man is better acquainted with the impulses that 
put in motion a Paris mob, has repeatedly told me 
that an insurrection might have been got up for that 
purpose with a few thousand pounds. But the pro- 
posal of the reorganisation of the Garde Bourgeoise 
came too late, and was not well received ; and as to 
revolutionary measures, the better part of the Royalists 
probably had shunned them." 

There was indeed the usual want of concert be- 
tween the Royalists of the Opposition. Nothing short 
of a complete restoration would have satisfied the 
Bourbons or induced them to countenance any move- 
ment in their favour, and no man of influence in the 
Councils would have lent himself to so desperate a 
scheme, although Pichegru, 2 Imbert Colomes, Camille 

1 Reminiscences. 

2 After the 18 Fructidor, Pichegru was arrested and deported 
to Cayenne with other members of the Moderate party, for the days 
of bloody executions were over. The ship which carried him, how- 
ever, was captured and brought to England, a circumstance which 
saved him from the fate of some of his friends, Barthe'lemy, Mallet's 
old opponent at Berne, among the number, who died of pestilential 

evers. J. L. Mallet writes : " I knew something of Pichegru in Eng- 


Jordan, and others, were disposed to go to greater 
length than members such as Thibaudeau and Boissy 
d'Anglas, who had drunk deep of the revolutionary cup, 
and were not ready to dash it down. 1 The Councils, 
heedless of their own divisions and of the formidable 
enmities they had aroused, went on repealing re- 
volutionary decrees, curtailing the resources of the 
Directory and calling for peace, without taking any 
effective steps to organise their victory. 

land many years afterwards, and previously to the last attempt which 
brought him to his untimely end. He was ill surrounded here by 
those extremely inferior to him Royalist desperadoes, who lived on 
his bounty. He was a good-natured, generous-minded man, of the 
greatest simplicity of mind and manners ; but of no great sagacity, 
whose early military habits had inured him to a rough sort of society. 
I heard at that time from his friend, Major Rusillon, that the French 
princes pressed upon him the necessity of making no compromise 
with the Revolution in case he should succeed ; but that he plainly 
told them that he would not concur in any measures which had not 
for object the establishment of a constitutional and limited form of 
government. The Archduke Charles, much to his credit, had placed 
a large sum of money at Pichegru's disposal at a banker's in London 
for his expenses during his residence here, and I understood that 
Pichegru had availed himself of this generous provision to the extent 
of ^1,500 a year. 

" Barthelemy, who had been Minister of the Interior, had ordered 
some plants of the bread-tree which were growing in the hot-houses of 
the Jardin des Plantes to be sent to Cayenne. When at sea with his 
distinguished and unfortunate companions, and being ignorant of 
their joint destination, Barthelemy saw on board the ship the plants 
he had ordered for Cayenne; a circumstance which removed all 
further doubt." 

1 " II y a tout a craindre," Mallet wrote to Vienna, " de cette 
classe d'idiots et d'dquilibristes qui dans les Conseils jouent le role 
de danseurs de corde et, opinant sans cesse pour les temperaments, 
finiront par culbuter leur Assembled et se casser le cou a eux-memes." 


The Directory, or rather Barras and two of his 
colleagues, had on their side all but public opinion. 
They had unity of purpose, and the old Jacobins still 
organised and roused to a pitch of fury by the in- 
considerate proceedings of the Royalists ; above all 
they had the armies of Bonaparte in Italy and Hoche 
in the Vendee openly proclaiming their defection from 
the legislative body hitherto all-powerful in France, 
and their readiness to march to the assistance of the 

With all his confidence in Pichegru Mallet du Pan 
was fully alive to the fact that the Directory could rely 
on a greater figure than that general. Weeks before, 
in letters to Sainte-Aldegonde (29th April and 7th May) 
he had written : " You will see the reaction of the 
Austrian peace in the interior. Hoche and his Franks, 
Bonaparte and his Vandals, will be let loose on France ; 
they will make short work I promise you of mutinous 
journalists, orators, legislators and citizens. . . . The 
Directory and the Republicans count on Bonaparte 
to re-establish them." 1 These anticipations proved 
correct ; the Directory turned first to Hoche, and 
brought him to Paris in July as Minister of War, 
but the Councils managed to get rid of him on the 
technical ground that he was under the legal age for 

1 After Fructidor, and again after Brumaire, the Royalists clung 
to the idea that Bonaparte would play the part of Monk. Mallet du 
Pan never shared this idea, although he had in the preceding March 
compared the condition of France to that of England after Crom- 
well's death. " Son ambition depasse de beaucoup ses lumieres, il 
est sans vertu, sans honneur, sans probite, sans bonne foi . . . il y a 
loin de ce caractere de celui du sage Monk. . . . Pichegru etait 
honnete homme. Nous ne le retrouverons de longtemps " (Letter 
to Marshal de Castries, $th Oct. 1797). 


that office ; and finally Bonaparte came to their assist- 
ance by despatching from Italy Augereau, who arrived 
in Paris proclaiming that he " had been sent to kill the 
Royalists ! " The coup cC&at of the i8th of Fructidor 
followed in due course ; the victory remained in the 
hands of the Republicans, but the Republic itself had 
received its death-blow. " One thing only is certain," 
wrote Mallet du Pan, 1 "namely, that the i8th of 
Fructidor has destroyed the Republic and the consti- 
tution by overturning the fundamental system of the 
sovereignty of the people and of the national repre- 

Mallet du Pan, as we have seen, was one of the 
first to perceive that the probable outcome of the 
Revolution would be a dictatorship. The i3th of 
Vend^miaire had been ominous for the fate of the 
Republic as the first occasion on which military force 
had been summoned to the assistance of the civil 
power, the i8th of Fructidor repeated the warning 
in still more emphatic fashion, and a month later he 
wrote : 2 " In any case I see that we are destined 
sooner or later to pass through the terrors of anarchy 
to a military usurpation ". No more accurate forecast 
of the history of the remaining months of the century 
could have been penned. But while Mallet thus per- 
ceived the imminence of a dictatorship, he failed to 
distinguish the dictator in the marked fashion which 
might have been expected. " Dictatorship is in 
the air, but woe to the rash man who aspires to the 
fatal crown ! Bonaparte himself simulates modesty 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, letter of 6th Oct. 1797. 

2 Letter to De Castries, 5th Oct. 1797. 


and unconcern ; devoured by a boundless ambition 
he is reduced to disguise it." l 

Mallet du Pan has, indeed, been severely and 
somewhat unjustly criticised for his supposed failure 
to recognise the one figure which for all after 
history gives the keynote of this chaotic period. 
He does not even mention Bonaparte's share in the 
coup cTEtat of Vendemiaire, and his railing remarks 
on the conduct of the campaign of 1 796 read strangely 
enough in the light of later events and betray but 
little appreciation of the fact that, by his military and 
diplomatic achievements in Italy, Bonaparte had de- 
finitely taken his place in history. 

' Ce petit bamboche,' he wrote, ' a cheveux eparpil- 
16s, ce batard de mandrin que les rheteurs des Conseils 
appellent jeune heVos et vainqueur d' Italic, expiera 
promptement sa gloire de tre"teau, son inconduite, ses 
vols, ses fusillades, ses insolentes pasquinades.' 

Next year he is the "instrument of the Direc- 
tory and the Jacobins to intimidate the country"; 
and many observations of this kind might be quoted to 
show that Mallet at this time little anticipated the role 
which the young republican general was to play, though 
he described him in September 1 796 as ' le mortel le 
plus temeraire, le plus actif qu'il y ait ; il a une tete de 
salpetre et des jambes de cerf\ 

The toleration which springs from a cynical dis- 
position, or from a knowledge of the baseness and 
shallowness of human nature, is perhaps necessary 
to enable a man to estimate fairly the qualities which 
so often lead to the highest success in life. Mallet 
du Pan, more moralist than man of the world, more 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, letter of 6th Oct. 1797. 


politician than philosopher, could not readily yield his 
admiration to genius divorced from principle ; or to 
the personification of that militant Jacobinism which 
he had made it his mission to oppose. As a writer he 
was perhaps less successful in seizing the character of 
individual men than in depicting and analysing the 
motives of parties and factions. The Revolution, in- 
deed, had so far failed to bring to the front one 
commanding spirit, and the evident mediocrity of all 
the actors he was called upon to criticise confirmed 
him in the conviction that the course of history was 
little influenced by the characters of individuals. '// 
riy a plus d'kommes, il riy a que des dvenements? 
It was impossible, indeed, to attribute the course of 
events to any profoundly combined plan of any indi- 
vidual or party. "Their very crimes were impromptu." 
They were all alike the victims of a movement which 
they could not stop, whose incendiary force they were 
obliged to use. " It is not Bonaparte, nor Sieyes, nor 
Merlin who reigns, it is the irresistible movement which 
the Revolution impresses upon men and affairs." It 
must be remembered also that Bonaparte had so far 
given no indication of the desire to restore order to 
France which Mallet was later to recognise and to 
applaud ; and that the qualities of statesmanship which 
he had extolled in Frederick the Great 1 had not yet 
appeared in the character of the successful soldier of 
fortune. What impressed him most was the undoubted 
combination in Bonaparte's character of ambition 

1 In 1793 Mallet du Pan had selected Frederick the Great, 
Pombal and Franklin as the three statesmen of the eighteenth century 
who had been able to foresee, to prepare and to guide events 
(Considerations, Preface, iv.). 


and of charlatanism ; and his writings abound at this 
time in passages contrasting the fine sentiments and 
sophistries of the ' General Rheteur ' with his total 
disregard of truth and principle. Napoleon's career 
must be judged as a whole with its failure as well 
as its success ; but even if Mallet over-emphasised 
the flaws in the character of a great popular hero, 
a contemporary may well be pardoned for not seeing 
in the early life of such men all the signs of future 
eminence which posterity delights to dwell upon. It 
is to be remembered that of the foremost writers of the 
Revolution Mallet du Pan and Rivarol alone shared 
the disadvantage of having given their ideas to the 
world in works which, once printed, it was impossible 
for them to recall or retouch ; they alone wrote of the 
future without the assistance which actual experience of 
it gave to so many of the authors of the most famous 
memoirs and "recollections" of the time. Even in 
such works we may look in vain for signs of earlier 
appreciation ; and among a people busy enough with 
the immediate future but caring or thinking of no- 
thing beyond it, it may be doubted whether there were 
many who took a juster view of the fortune in store 
for Bonaparte. Barras, who first employed him, had 
certainly no idea of abdicating in his favour. The 
Directory indeed feared him, but only as they feared 
all their armies and generals, as they feared Hoche 
and Pichegru. Mallet du Pan saw at any rate that 
the Directorial coup de main of Fructidor 1797 had 
destroyed the illusion of republican constitutionalism, 
and paved the way for the rule of a single man ; that 
the " first general, the first accredited chieftain who 
could raise the standard of revolt, might carry half 


the country with him ". Bonaparte was not yet strong 
enough, or too astute, to come forward, and Mallet 
might be excused in thinking that unless some new 
theatre of war presented itself, his chances were gone, 
at a time when none but his own entourage of military 
adventurers believed in his destiny and when he him- 
self, fearing his grande nation much more than the 
princes and generals of Europe, was obliged to under- 
take the Egyptian expedition because his position 
was untenable at home. 

Whatever may be thought of Mallet du Pan's 
opinions on this subject, he would undoubtedly have 
been prudent to keep them to himself. But want of 
courage was never among his failings, and he chose 
the moment when the struggle between the two parties 
in the Government was at its height for a public attack 
on the Directory and their victorious general in the 
shape of three letters in the Quotidienne, addressed to 
Dumolard a member of the Five Hundred, on the 
aff reuses histoires of Venice and Genoa. These letters 
were intended to strengthen the hands of the moderates 
who made them the basis of discussion in the Council, 
and to arouse public opinion, lulled by the vision of 
the approaching peace, to a sense of the unalterably 
menacing character of the foreign policy of the existing 
French Government. Mallet's trumpet-call made a 
considerable sensation in Paris, but as things turned 
out its principal result was to stimulate the efforts of 
the army in support of the Directory, and to bring 
down upon his own head the persecution which was 
to drive him from his native country. 1 It so incensed 

1 The editor of the Quotidtenne, M. Michaud, had signed Mallet's 
name to the letters without asking his permission. 


Bonaparte that he sent for Haller, a Bernese who was 
his commissary and Proveditore, and told him that 
unless Mallet du Pan was immediately expelled from 
Berne his countrymen would sooner or later rue the 
protection they gave him. The sequel may be told in 
the younger Mallet's words : 

" By the treaties between Berne and Geneva, my 
father was a combourgeois of Berne, and had a right of 
residence and protection in the canton ; but in such 
times as those to which I am alluding, those claims 
were not likely to be regarded. The question whether 
my father should be desired to quit Berne was twice 
brought forward in the Secret Council, and twice de- 
cided in the negative ; but was ultimately carried on a 
third motion to that effect made towards the end of 
June 1797. My father had then resided upwards of 
four years at Berne, where he was much respected, 
and when this decision became public it was univers- 
ally censured. 

" The notification of it to my father had been accom- 
panied by many expressions of esteem and regret, and 
an assurance that he might stay as long as he should 
find it convenient with a view to his future arrange- 
ments : and when the measure had been stigmatised 
by public opinion, my father was further informed that 
the decision of the council would not be followed up if 
he chose to remain. There was, however, no longer 
any safety for him at Berne, and he was the last man 
in the world to solicit any such favour. 

" Among other letters addressed to him on this 
occasion l I have one from the Avoyer de Steiguer, 

1 His friend Baron d'Erlach was the first to announce the decision 
of the Secret Council: "Je suis, mon cher Mallet, au de"sespoir de 
ce que je suis charge" de vous annoncer. Dans mon indignation 
je m'abstiens de toute reflexion". Later, on the zyth of July, he 
wrote describing Bonaparte's reception of Wurstenberguer, one of the 


expressing in terms of great mortification and regret 
how deeply he felt this act of weakness and injustice. 
Another Bernois, M. de Bonstetten, of a great patrician 
family and whom I have already mentioned as dis- 
tinguished for his literary acquirements, the moderation 
of his character, and the charm of his society, hearing 
after my father's departure that my mother was obliged 
to change houses for the short time we remained at 
Berne, pressed her to accept his country residence. 
'I should consider myself,' says he, 'the happiest of 
my countrymen if I could soften in your minds the 
impression of our criminal weakness towards M. 
Mallet.' He hoped my father would forget the treat- 
ment he had received, and added, ' I wish I could hope 
myself to forget it'. 

" This was the first of a series of improper con- 
cessions made to the French Government. From that 
time they followed apace ; for a principle had been 
admitted, not unusual in small and weak States, but 
nevertheless as yet unknown to the proud government 
of Berne, of giving way to intimidation. No one 
understood better than the revolutionary rulers of 
France how to avail themselves of the power of this 
screw, which they never ceased working until they had 
accomplished the ruin of the Swiss Confederacy." * 

The disaster of Fructidor had been a rude awaken- 
ing to the Princesse d'He"nin's coterie in London many 
of whom were now at an end of their resources, and 
Malouet wrote asking for his friend's influence at the 
court of Vienna to procure for him the post of Naval 

Bernese instigators of Mallet's expulsion : " II en a etc" fort bien re9u, et 
Bonaparte lui ayant demands' s'il y avail des Emigre's a Lugano, lui 
a tout de suite et sans attendre sa re"ponse fait de grands remer- 
ciments de votre renvoi et de grandes plaintes centre vous. Ainsi 
voila Bonaparte votre ennemi personnel" (Sayous, ii., 308, 311). 

1 Reminiscences. 


Intendant in the Adriatic. But Mallet du Pan's own 
situation was now such as to occupy all his thoughts. 
For more than a year he had foreseen that he would 
not long remain unmolested in Switzerland, and had 
cast about for a place of refuge elsewhere. But, as he 
said, it would be a favour to obtain from the Empress 
a hut in Siberia, and he had preferred to take his 
chance, with the remark ' Qui diable peut etre attache" 
& la vie f Ce nest pas moi, je vous en riponds ! ' The 
time had now come when a decision must be taken. 
The Peace of Campo Formio (October 1797) had left 
Italy and the neutral States at the mercy of Bonaparte, 
one of whose first measures had been the annexation 
of the Valteline and other confederate Italian States 
to the Cisalpine Republic. It was therefore clear that 
the only safe course was to quit Switzerland. The 
Duke of Brunswick, on hearing how he was situated, 
pressed him to come to Wolfenbiittel and join his friend 
Mounier ; and Miiller, the Swiss historian and Austrian 
Aulic councillor, entreated him not to settle his future 
residence until he had written to Vienna and suggested 
to his Court the propriety of making Mallet du Pan 
such an offer as might induce him to repair to the 
Austrian capital. Meanwhile, leaving his son who 
had now rejoined him in charge of his official cor- 
respondence, Mallet du Pan set out in September 
in search of a retreat. He described his tedious and 
unsuccessful wanderings to his friend Sainte-Alde- 
gonde (i3th November): "Obliged to quit Berne, a 
wanderer through Switzerland, freezing with terror all 
these cowardly Swiss people wherever I presented 
myself, unable to take a decision while the issue of 
peace or war remained unsettled, wasting my time and 


money in travelling backwards and forwards, away from 
my family, heartbroken by the late events in France, I 
have had plenty of time to school myself into stoicism. 
It is at least an advantage to have become convinced 
that I must cease to ruin myself by defending people 
qui vous egorgent en skgorgeant. ... I am irrevocably 
determined to settle in England in the spring." 

" At Zurich," writes the younger Mallet, " where he 
had been so well received in July, the tables were already 
turned. The Grand Council became uneasy on his 
remaining there a week or ten days ; and it was settled, 
with a view of concealing the circumstance from the 
knowledge of the French minister, that his name should 
be omitted in the daily returns made from the inn at 
which he was staying. Whilst he was at Zurich several 
proscribed members of the Council of Ancients, who 
had escaped from France, came to Zurich under feigned 
names. Amongst them was the celebrated Portalis 
and his son, who made themselves known to my father, 
and from whom he learnt many particulars of the disas- 
trous termination of their hopes. From Zurich my 
father went to Constance, but finding it full of French 
emigrants he determined at once on wintering at 
Friburg in the Brisgau ; and wrote to Count de Thugut, 
requesting the Emperor's permission to reside in his 
dominions. 1 To this letter, although my father had 

1 "A draft of this letter is among my father's miscellaneous papers ; 
it closes with the following paragraph : ' Votre Excellence pardonnera 
mon insistance a la rigueur de ma situation. J'ose attendre d'Elle et 
du Gouvernement de S.M.I, et R., cette compassion qu'on accorde 
a des innocens dans le malheur, et que je reclame a des litres, qui, 
quelque soit le degre de misere qui nous est encore destine, feront 
passer mon nom sans tache a mes descendans.' " 

" There is a stamp of elevation of mind in all my father's letters, 
and a respect for himself which he never allows his correspondents, 
whatever may be their rank, to forget" (J. L. Mallet). Thugut, it 
should be added, always detested Mallet du Pan. 


been in communication with the court for upwards of 
three years, no answer was ever returned. But the 
Baron de Sumarau, Governor of the Brisgau, a spirited 
old man, took upon himself to accede to my father's 
wishes, and granted him the desired permission in the 
most handsome and flattering terms. We accordingly 
bade adieu to Switzerland to seek somewhere in the wide 
world that protection and security which our own native 
land no longer afforded. To Friburg, however, we 
proceeded in the first instance ; a pretty town with a 
handsome church, situated between the Rhine and the 
Black Forest, but too far from either to derive much 
beauty or advantage from those fine natural circum- 
stances. It had been occupied several times by the 
French armies in the course of the war, and the house 
we took for the winter exhibited many signs of having 
been the abode of military guests. War and its attend- 
ant habits are destructive of order and decency and the 
whole train of Dutch virtues. A few days' occupation 
of a country, or even a march through it, often destroys 
the civilising effects of many years ; and yet, such is the 
animating effect of warlike circumstances upon the mind, 
that whenever Austrian regiments passed through the 
town, which they frequently did, with their martial air, 
magnificent bands of music and all the apparatus of real 
war, it required some effort to withdraw the senses and 
imagination from the scene, and to restrain the rising 
passions." l 

At Friburg the family found themselves in a kind 
of desert, without resources or advantages save that of a 
position between the centre of events in France and 
Switzerland, an important matter for Mallet du Pan 
who still continued his work of correspondence. Their 
winter, however, was not to be without the satisfaction 
which some congenial society afforded, for hardly had 

1 Reminiscences. 


they settled in their new home when several Emigres 
and victims of the recent coup d? tat applied to Mallet 
du Pan to obtain permission from Baron de Sumarau 
to reside in the town for the winter. Among others, 
the Abbes de Lisle and Georgel were allowed to come 
to Friburg, but Portalis and his son with their friend 
Gau, one of the members of the Five Hundred, were 
relegated to an obscure neighbouring village in the 
Black Forest, and even this was considered a great 
favour to emigres of so recent a date. 

" The Abb de Lisle was our daily guest, and his 
natural vivacity and agreeable conversation made us 
forget everything else for the time. He was an abbe 
de salon who had lived in the best society of Paris, 
and possessed an inexhaustible fund of anecdote, which 
he told in a graceful and lively manner. He was like- 
wise always ready to recite passages from his works, a 
task which he performed with great spirit and feeling. 
But notwithstanding his genius and social accomplish- 
ments, the Abbe de Lisle was the merest child that 
ever lived ; amused with any bauble ; on some sub- 
jects quite inaccessible to reason ; a creature of caprice 
and passion. On hearing him describe the green 
and white pasteboard cabriolet with which he dashed 
along the Boulevards at Paris, one might have taken 
him for an Eton boy let loose from school ; and when 
he raved about the Revolution, for an echappe from 
Bicetre. All that he saw in that great event was the 
loss of his abbey : men, measures, opinions, times, 
were all confounded in his mind in one indistinguishable 
mass, through which he could discern nothing but his 
lost abbey. 

" The Abb6 Georgel was a clever man of the world 
who had seen human affairs through a far different 
medium. Courts, and diplomacy and intrigue had 
been his sphere of observation. He had been secre- 



tary to the Cardinal de Rohan, and an active agent in 
the disgraceful affair of the Queen's diamond necklace, 
which was considered by Bonaparte as one of the 
immediate causes of the Revolution." 1 

But the great resource of both Mallet du Pan and 
his son was their intercourse with the two Portalis. 
With the younger Portalis 2 the latter struck up a 
friendship which lasted for fifty years, and he records 
with delight his recollection of their long walks in 
the green valleys of the Black Forest along the hill 
streams which flow towards the Rhine, philosophising 
all the way with the eagerness and freshness of youth. 

" Portalis and his son," he writes, " occasionally came 
from their retreat to spend a couple of days with us. 
They were natives of Provence, and their accent as 
well as the vivacity of their manner left no doubt of 
their southern origin. The father had been Attorney- 
General to his province previously to the Revolution ; 
and considerations of personal safety had led him to 
Paris at a later period. His influence in the Council 
of Ancients had drawn upon him the enmity of the 
Directory, notwithstanding the moderation of his prin- 
ciples and his freedom from party spirit. On his 
return to France in 1799 he was immediately made 
a councillor of state, and was the principal person 
concerned in the formation of the Civil Code, the 
most lasting monument of Bonaparte's reign. Portalis 
was a man of great eloquence, great address, enlarged 
views of philosophy and legislation ; but who was 

1 Reminiscences. 

2 Subsequently Minister of Public Worship under Napoleon, 
and under the Bourbons Deputy Keeper of the Seals, Minister of 
Justice in Villele's Ministry, and afterwards at the head of the 
French Magistracy as First President of the Cour de Cassation. He 
was a man of great simplicity and the highest moral worth. 


deficient in political courage. His attachment to free 
institutions, which was sincere, gave way at the latter 
period of his life to the less liberal maxims of 
Napoleon's government. He and his son were both 
religious, and strongly deprecated the demoralising 
effects of the French school of philosophy. Portalis 
had a striking person and manner ; grave, impassioned, 
eloquent in discussion, and yet playful, familiar and 
almost homely in the common intercourse of life. His 
voice was deep, pleasing, and persuasive ; his eye- 
sight so defective that he looked as if he had been 
blind, and when pensive he reminded me of those 
ancient busts in which the pupil of the eye is not 
marked." l 

In the family circle the Revolution was naturally 
the great theme, and old Portalis, who had lived 
through that memorable epoch and personally known 
many of the dramatis personce, would often expatiate 
on the scenes he had witnessed with great force of 
observation and power of language. 

" Both he and his son had been confined for fourteen 
months in the Maison de Sante of Bel-Homme in the 
Faubourg Saint-Antoine at Paris, which had been con- 
verted into a prison. Certain facilities were given in 
these houses which could not be had in the common 
prisons, and it was a sort of favour to be admitted 
there. Among the persons confined at Bel-Homme 
were several of the principal noblesse of Brittany M. 
de Boisgelin, former President of the States of that 
Province ; M. de Noyant, likewise a considerable man 
at Rennes ; and also M. de Nicolai, President of the 
Chambre des Comptes in the Parliament of Paris. 
The utmost punctilio was observed among these 
personages ; regular introductions were necessary to 

1 Reminiscences. 


be admitted into the different circles. The Noblesse 
kept aloof and did not mix with the Roturiers. 
M. de Nicolai, who was executed after a few 
months' detention, had brought from his house a 
part of his library, some furniture, and 2,000 bottles 
of wine. Other wealthy individuals had followed his 
example. After breakfasting in their respective apart- 
ments every one dressed about eleven o'clock, and 
walked in the garden when the weather permitted. 
Two o'clock was the dinner hour ; a traiteur had the 
custom of the house. At four o'clock the messenger 
of death entered and summoned his victims ; a general 
gloom and apprehension preceded this appalling mo- 
ment, but as soon as the unfortunate individual whose 
last hour had struck had taken leave of his friends, 
all was life again at the Bel-Homme. At five o'clock, 
a second and more careful toilet took place ; the different 
circles met, and the evening was spent very much as 
if the same persons had assembled at their respective 
Hotels, in drinking tea, playing cards, trictrac, and 
conversation. The precarious tenure under which 
these inmates of the Half-way House to the Guillotine 
held their lives and property did not in any manner 
soften their old political animosities, and on one oc- 
casion when a former Intendant of Brittany who had 
quarrelled with the Provincial States was brought in, 
and a question arose whether he should be admitted 
into M. de Boisgelin's circle, a meeting of several 
members of the States was held in the apartment of 
the old President de Noyant, at which it was re- 
solved that they would not give their vote to M. de 
Boisgelin at the next election of First President, in 
case he visited the Intendant ; which threat had the 
desired effect." x 

The factious advocate, Linguet, who had been the 
object of Mallet du Pan's youthful enthusiasm, was also 
at Bel-Homme. 

1 Reminiscences. 


"The Parliament people all shunned him, and he 
lived in a sort of solitude amidst the dissipations of 
the place. On his summons being brought him he 
came to the apartment of Portal is with the warrant 
in his hand to ask him whether he was required to 
appear under an act of accusation, or only as a 
witness. Portalis, who knew the form of these in- 
struments, told him that his own trial was coming 
on. He received the intelligence with calm, went and 
dressed himself, took some refreshment with his wife, 
and left the prison, never to return. These scenes 
were of daily occurrence, save on the Decadi, when the 
Revolutionary Tribunal did not sit and the guillotine 
suspended its toils. The interval between the day 
preceding the Decadi and the following morning was 
therefore a respite, and the schoolboys enjoyed their 
holiday as if the hand of the executioner was for ever 
stayed. Such modes of behaviour are contrary to all 
the higher notions of propriety, and yet they were not 
inconsistent with the most heroic feelings. These very 
people left their frivolities for the scaffold with such 
stoical unconcern that the Committee of Public Safety 
became apprehensive of the effect which such unheard 
of fortitude might have on the spectators and the 
people. In some prisons therefore the persons whose 
fate was decided were kept on bread and water for 
several days before their execution, and a proposal 
was actually made in the Committee of Public Safety 
to bleed their victims previously to their appearing in 
public." l 

Ancient history however did not, we may be sure, 
engross the thoughts of the party, occupied as they 
were with the pressing anxieties of the moment. The 
Directory had resorted to the harshest and most op- 
pressive methods at home and abroad, and had resolved 

1 Reminiscences. 


on the conquest and "regeneration" of Switzerland, 
which they were proceeding to carry out with their 
usual combination of intrigue and violence. Their 
next step after the banishment of Mallet du Pan was 
a note from the French Minister demanding the dis- 
missal of Wickham, the British Minister, and after this 
requisition succeeded requisition, and concession fol- 
lowed concession. 

" Bonaparte, who passed rapidly through the 
country on his way to the Congress of Rastadt, 
let out here and there, in his usual emphatic manner, 
expressions calculated to shake and disorganise the 
tottering fabric ; and in the month of December all 
further pretences were laid aside, the French troops 
took possession of the Bishopric of Basle, and the 
Directory, by a decree of the 28th of that month, made 
the Government of Berne responsible for the personal 
safety and property of its revolted subjects. The 
scenes that followed are now matters of history. The 
healing hand of time and of good government has 
(1830) removed all actual traces of these lamentable 
events, when a prosperous and happy people were 
overrun by a rude soldiery who had themselves but 
a few years before learnt the art of war in defence of 
their country and freedom. It was not Principalities 
that they came to destroy, but the mountain Chalet, and 
the peaceful shepherd and his flocks. I am aware of the 
pretexts for this unprovoked and unjustifiable aggres- 
sion. There were the wrongs of the Pays de Vaud, if 
wrongs they can be called ; there was the aristocracy of 
Berne and its treasures ; and the chance that more 
popular forms of Government might be established in 
some Cantons. Nor do I mean to contend that im- 
provements have not followed, and Switzerland is not 
again happy and independent, and probably more 
united than before ; but these blessings are in the main 


due to the destruction of the Imperial Government and 
of that Iron Hand, guided by unrivalled genius, that 
would not have left a vestige of freedom in Europe, 
had it been as cautious as it was powerful. Every 
day's post brought us some distressing intelligence, 
some deep and heart-rending tale of woe and de- 
struction. All that we held dear was involved in 
the greatest of political calamities foreign invasion 
embittered by civil war. Madame de Bonstetten, 
who was at Interlachan to the last, wrote to me 
regularly. She was surrounded by manifestations of 
loyalty and public spirit, the Oberland being all in 
arms ; but her eye was fixed on the Councils of the 
Republic where she saw nothing but irresolute and 
wavering opinions. As the French advanced a number 
of Swiss families fled to Friburg, where they all came 
to lament with my father the calamities of which their 
treatment of him had been the first signal." 

The agitation and grief with which Mallet du Pan 
watched the collapse of the Swiss resistance may be 
imagined. " They might have changed the face of 
Europe, they have preferred to dishonour themselves 
by the most stupid and unworthy servility." The 
warlike spirit of the people who only asked to be led 
against the enemy was rendered useless by the timid and 
temporising policy of the Governments, and on the ist of 
February 1798 he writes to Sainte-Aldegonde : " Swit- 
zerland is finished ; we shall soon be able to say the 
same of Europe. . . . Berne has bitterly repented of its 
treatment of me. A month ago I was entreated to 
return and take up my work there." The battle of 
Fraubriinnen on the 5th of March vindicated the patri- 
otic courage of the nation but extinguished all further 

1 Reminiscences. 


hopes of resistance in Switzerland, and shortly after- 
wards the ancient Republic of Geneva met the fate 
which Mallet du Pan had long foreseen, and which its 
credulous citizens fancied they had averted by their 
adoption of the revolution and their cringing sub- 
mission to their mighty neighbour. On the i6th of 
April, in spite of repeated assurances from the French 
Government and from Bonaparte himself that the 
independence of Geneva would be respected, the city 
was entered by 1,800 French soldiers and annexed 
to the French Republic ; and by the first article of 
the Treaty of Union, Mallet du Pan with two other 
Genevese was expressly deprived of the honour of 
being at any time admitted to French citizenship. 

Mallet du Pan had not waited for this event to 
determine upon his future abode. The cessation of 
his communications with France deprived him of the 
means of continuing his Vienna correspondence, a 
work which had for some time been distasteful to him 
as a mere " ploughing of the sands," and the failure of 
this resource now made it as necessary as it was con- 
genial to him to write for the public, and to carry on his 
struggle against the Directory openly as a journalist. 
'faime mieux a faire au public,' he had written to his 
son a few months earlier, 'qua tons les rots de la 
terre! He had clung to the hope of returning to 
Paris till the triumph of the Directory in Fructidor 
convinced him that a military despotism was to be the 
fate of France. He had long contemplated offers of a 
settlement which had come to him from friendly 
German Princes, but the condition of the Continent 
now seemed to him to promise little more security than 
that of France for the liberty, for which he was pining, 


to express and publish his opinions. " I have only 
been tolerated here," he wrote to De Pradt from Fri- 
burg, " under the promise of keeping silence." " Only 
England remains where a man may write, speak, think 
and act. There is my place ; there is no other for 
anyone who wishes to carry on the war." His son 
thus describes reasons which finally decided him on 
this new venture : 

"My father's health was impaired, and he had been 
subject throughout the winter to a very painful cough. 
He had also deeply felt the treatment he had met with 
at Berne, and the public calamities that followed. 
Whatever scheme we might form was subject to serious 
contingencies, and the retiring to England, which in 
some respects seemed the least unpromising, would be 
attended with heavy expense. This project had been 
first suggested to us by a Scotch gentleman at Berne, 
Mr. Mackintosh, a sensible, well-informed man, who 
recommended my father to consult his friends in this 
country as to the probable success of a French periodi- 
cal work to be published in London in the manner 
of the Mercure de France. Mr. Wickham was favour- 
able to the scheme, and had kindly assured us that 
he would forward it by every means in his power. I 
wrote likewise to our excellent friend, Mr. John Reeves, 
to consult him on the subject. Reeves sent my letter 
to the old Lord Liverpool with whom he had official 
connections, and also to Mr. Windham, then Secretary 
at War, both of whom desired him to encourage my 
father in his views. Reeves was an active, friendly 
man, who took up the thing warmly, and offered to 
receive us in his own house in Cecil Street, until we 
could make suitable arrangements. It was no doubt a 
satisfaction to him from a political point of view to 
enlist my father's talents in the good cause on this side 
of the Channel ; but far from dissembling the difficulties 


of the undertaking, he warned my father that he was 
not to look in England for that sort of active counte- 
nance from the Government, which Continental States 
sometimes afford to public writers ; but that the success 
of the scheme would in the main depend on individual 
exertions. Thus encouraged by our friends we deter- 
mined on setting out for England in the spring. 1 On 
this resolution becoming known to our emigrant friends, 
my father received all sorts of proposals for co-operat- 
ing in his undertaking, but he wisely declined them all. 
Sainte-Aldegonde," he adds, "likewise sent to my father 
a long extract from a letter of Monsieur (afterwards 
Charles X.), which did not reach him till after our 
arrival in London ; full of flattering expressions, and 
intimating his wish that my father would join at Ham- 
burg the Prince's confidential friend, the Comte d'Escars, 
for whom a King's vessel had been sent to conduct him 
to Edinburgh, Monsieur being desirous of consulting 
my father on various subjects. ' Les preuves cCattache- 
mentj says the Prince, ' quil ma donnees en plusieurs 
occasions, me portent a penser quil eprouverait du 
plaisir a recevoir de nouvelles marques de mon estime 
et de ma confiance' This was all very flattering, but 
it would not have been advisable, in the state of my 
father's health, to have exposed him to the fatigue 
of such a voyage ; and, all circumstances considered, it 
was fortunate that the letter did not reach us till it was 
too late to comply with the Prince's desire." 2 

In the early days of April, therefore, he set out from 
Friburg with all his family except his second son, who 
remained at Geneva with his uncle, and his eldest 
daughter who had remained in Paris. 

1 " II n'y a plus a reculer, il faut se creer quelques ressources et se 
fixer quelque part. Le continent ne m'offre que des persecutions, 
des dugouts, 1'impossibilite d'ecrire nulle part, et la certitude de 
mourir de faim." (To Sainte-Aldegonde, i4th December 1797.) 

2 Reminiscences. 


"We purchased a carriage for the journey, which 
was," writes the younger Mallet, " long and tedious, for 
travelling in Germany is (or was, at least in my time) 
attended with more inconvenience than in any other 
country I am acquainted with. Bad inns, bad beds 
and bad cookery ; bad roads in almost all the inferior 
States ; slow and phlegmatic postmasters, and worse 
postillions. These things may be altered since Napo- 
leon quickened their paces and stimulated their sleepy 
faculties ; but they were very bad in 1 798. We saw 
many agreeable, well-built towns ; many good-looking 
heroes, doing duty at threepence a day ; and some fine 
country Heidelberg and the Bergstrasse particularly." 

In this fashion they arrived at Brunswick, where 
the Duke received them with every kindness and 
facilitated their progress to Cuxhaven, tracing out the 
route they were to follow with his own hand. There 
they embarked, and after a stormy passage of eighty- 
two hours, diversified by an alarm of pursuit by a 
French privateer, they landed at Yarmouth on the ist 
of May 1798 and soon made their way to Mr. Reeves' 
hospitable house in Cecil Street in the Strand. 





IT is significant of the part played by England in the 
war since the opening days of the Revolution that it 
should have attracted but little of the attention of a 
writer who had always shown a remarkable degree of 
sympathy with her institutions and knowledge of her 
history. At first, indeed, the opinions which he, and 
his friends among the constitutional Royalists who had 
found a refuge at London represented, caused his ad- 
vice to be eagerly sought, and he had, as we have 
seen, been invited to draw up memorials for the British 
Cabinet, while he had formed relations of a very cordial 
character with the British representatives at Brussels, 
Turin and Berne. But he does not seem to have long 
entertained from the policy of Great Britain any hope 
of results in the sense of his recommendations in favour 
of vigorous action in the field, combined with diplomacy 
which should explain her objects to the French people. 
Pitt's "dogged determination to ignore the French 
Revolution," as Lord Rosebery says, had yielded with 
the progress of the war to a " singular but luckless 
energy," and a series of unfortunate and ill-planned expe- 
ditions had left the British armies without a foothold 
in Europe, while naval victories and colonial conquests 


gave colour to the universal opinion as to the selfishness 
of British policy. 1 Pitt's conduct of the war, never- 
theless, was honesty itself compared with that of the 
Governments whom he subsidised. But Mallet du Pan 
early formed an unfavourable opinion of the utility of 
the English alliance. England's extreme unpopularity 
in France made her, in his opinion, the worst possible 
instrument of the policy he advocated of fostering the 
counter-revolutionary elements in the country, and the 
brutal conduct of the British troops under the Duke of 
York had drawn from him a remark, which the presence 
of the Cossacks in Italy confirmed, that any army which 
revolted the population would only serve the Revolu- 
tion. For the same reason he had blamed the Comte 
d'Artois for following the British flag, and stated his 
belief that the reputed connection of the Vendeans with 
England would complete the unpopularity of their cause. 
In August 1795 he wrote to Sainte-Aldegonde, who 
had urged him to endeavour to diminish the hatred 
of the French towards England, that it was not for a 
private individual to destroy a prejudice six centuries 
old, a prejudice which had grown into fanaticism and 
had been justified by the conduct of the British Govern- 
ment. It was, he declared, for that Government alone 
to remove this deep and fatal impression, not by in- 

1 " But in this most arduous and most momentous conflict, which, 
from its nature, should have aroused us to new and unexampled efforts, 
I know not how it has been that we have never put forth half the 
strength which we have exerted in ordinary wars. . . . We drew back 
the arm of our military force which had never been more than half 
raised to oppose. . . . From that time we have been combating only 
with the other arm of our naval power, . . . which struck, almost 
unresisted, with blows which could never reach the heart of the mis- 
chief" (Burke's Regicide Peace). 


significant pronouncements but by positive action, by 
recognising the King, by promising the restitution of 
conquests, by a formal engagement not to meddle with 
the integrity and independence of France. 

If Mallet du Pan was dissatisfied with the manage- 
ment of the warlike operations of the British Govern- 
ment, he was equally disgusted by Pitt's repeated 
attempts to make peace. He covers Lord Malmes- 
bury's mission 1 to Lille, in July 1797, with ridicule, 
and its undignified termination justified his strictures. 
"I am convinced," he wrote to De Castries, "of the 
truth of what Mr. Burke has written on this subject 
the revolution must end or it will devour Europe. To 
seek safety in negotiation, cest comprimer PEtna avec 
des feuilles de papier" But the day was at hand when 
the extremity of the danger produced by four years of 
military incapacity and ministerial optimism and blind- 
ness, combined, it must in justice be added, with the 
well-deserved collapse of continental resistance to the 
Revolution, was to rouse the British people from their 
apathy and to call forth the high spirit and dauntless 
energy of their great statesman. 

The naval victories of St. Vincent and Camperdown 
alone prevented the year 1797 from being one of the 
darkest in English history, and the younger Mallet, at 
that time in England, noted the circumstances which 
seemed to portend the early withdrawal of England 
from the contest : 

1 Mr. Canning, then Under-Secretary of State, writing to Lord 
Malmesbury at Lille in July 1797, says : "We are soulless and spirit- 
less. When Windham says ' We must not have peace,' I ask him, 
' Can we have war? It is out of the question. We have not of all 
means that which is the most essential the mind ' " (Malmesbury 
Memoirs, vol. iii.). 


" I cannot," he wrote, " altogether pass over the 
extraordinary and alarming circumstances which agi- 
tated this country in the spring of 1797 the mutiny 
at the Nore, the Irish Rebellion, and the stoppage 
of the cash payments of the Bank of England. No 
crisis that I remember can be compared to this, and 
at no period have I witnessed so much alarm among 
all classes of people. The measures adopted by the 
Government seemed nearly as desperate, and as likely 
to prove fatal in their consequences, as the dangers 
they were intended to avert ; but nothing can be more 
unsafe than anticipations in politics, and on this, as on 
many other occasions, the wisest in their generation are 
not always true prophets." 

The failure of the negotiations, however, and the 
menacing attitude of the Directory after Fructidor were 
soon to alter the tone of public opinion, and to show 
that Mallet du Pan had been better informed than his 
angry critics when he warned the British government l 
that they were for the first time about to become the 
object of serious attack. Isolated in Europe, for the 
peace of Campo Formio had deprived her of the last 
of her allies, England, the envied power which had 
really grown stronger by the exhaustion of every con- 
tinental state, and whose free constitution was an 
irritating refutation of the democratic pretensions of 
revolutionary France, was now to be struck at through 
her credit and her commerce ; and Mallet, in indicating 
the nature of the war to be waged upon her, sketched 
out the plan which was to develop under Napoleon 
into the famous but futile Continental System. 

By the time Mallet du Pan arrived in England, a 
complete transformation in the attitude both of the 

1 Lettre a un Ministre d'Etat, London, 1797. 


Government and the people had been effected by the 
threatening action of the Directory. It was therefore 
at a singularly appropriate moment that the untiring 
opponent of revolutionary despotism sought a home in 
the country which had just been forced into the position 
of the champion of the principle of national independ- 
ence. The enthusiasm called forth by Bonaparte's 
threatened invasion, and the assembling of the so- 
called Army of England on the opposite coast, had 
doubtless prepared Mallet du Pan for the spectacle of 
public spirit and national feeling for which he had so 
often appealed in vain on the Continent ; and he had 
already remarked upon the fact that a direct opposi- 
tion of principles and conduct was to be found only 
between the free countries of England and America 
and the pretended apostles of liberty. But the reality 
far surpassed his expectations. The impression it made 
on him is described, as his son remarks, " in his own 
happy and forcible manner," in a letter which he wrote 
to Gallatin at Berlin in May 1 798 : 

" I could fancy myself in another world, in another 
century. The contrast between the Continent and 
England is astounding. ' Et penitus toto divisos orbe 
Britannos ' is indeed true of to-day. Across the sea I left 
Europe in the throes of a convulsive effort to secure at 
any cost a shameful peace. I left it in doubt and in- 
decision, distracted by divisions and alarms, incapable 
either of defence or of union, destitute of all patriotism, 
unable to devise any common means of safety. Here, 
we are in the full tide of war, crushed by taxation and 
exposed to the fury of the most desperate of enemies, 
but nevertheless security, abundance and energy reign 
supreme, alike in cottage and palace. I have not met with 
a single instance of nervousness or apprehension. The 


spectacle presented by public opinion has far surpassed 
my expectation. The nation had not yet learnt to know 
its own strength or its resources ; the government has 
taught it the secret, and inspired it with an unbounded 
confidence almost amounting to presumption. There 
is a good deal of intolerance, confined however to the 
sanest part of the population. They detest France, 
the Revolution, the Jacobins, the Directory, precisely as 
France hated the aristocrats in 1789." After dwelling 
on the "admirable" measures taken by the Ministry 
for its defence of the country, he continues: "You 
may imagine that I am in my element, with no need of 
periphrasis to express my opinions and no fear of exile 
if I am wanting in respect to Barras or Merlin de Douai ! " 

It was a simple and definite issue which had at last 
aroused popular sentiment. But the writer already 
observed the absence of any real perception of what 
the Revolution meant for Europe. With all this 
" superb display " he saw how little the question at 
issue was generally understood. Sixty years before 
Voltaire had remarked that in no country were the 
sources of information so rare as in England, that in 
none was there greater indifference to matters of 
external interest ; and Mallet soon asked himself how 
all this enthusiasm and energy, how the calmness and 
order of the country, how the discipline and spirit of 
the British troops and the supremacy of the British 
fleets, would prevent France from devouring Europe 
bit by bit and carrying on her work of universal dis- 
solution. " While commerce is prosperous too little 
attention is paid to the Continent, and there are national 
prejudices on the subject which I must make it my 
business to remove." To make better known in 
England the real situation abroad was a task for which 



Mallet was specially qualified. " I am treated with 
some confidence," he wrote to his friend, " fournissez- 
moi des armes ! " 

No longer however with the old confidence and 
hopefulness but as a persecuted and embittered op- 
ponent of the triumphant Revolution did Mallet du Pan 
prepare to renew the struggle. It was with the words, 
" It is idle to fight a revolution with sheets of paper," 
that he had abandoned the editorship of the Mercure 
de France. His experiences as adviser of the French 
Princes and foreign Governments had been no less 
discouraging. Early in 1797 he had told his son 
that he was profoundly disgusted with his labours 
in this direction, his counsels and reflections having 
been continually set aside. It was therefore primarily 
the necessity imposed on an exile who had lost in- 
come, savings, library and all his worldly possessions 
of assuring for himself and his family a means of 
livelihood, that decided him to enter upon the editor- 
ship of a new journal ; and with growing distaste 
at the exigencies of his "detestable scribbling,"- 
il est impossible den Ure plus las, plus ddgoute 1 , plus 
accable", he carried on the work till it brought him to 
the grave. Not that he would ever have willingly ac- 
quiesced in withdrawal from the contest in which he 
had been so deeply engaged. The need of speaking 
what was in his mind was strong to the end, and soon 
after his arrival in England he expressed in touching 
and eloquent words his gratitude to the country which 
gave him the power to do so : 

'J'ai perdu, avec la Suisse, patrie, parents, amis: 
il ne m'en reste que des souvenirs dechirants. Je 
serais peut-etre sans asyle, si le ciel ne m'eut reserve" 


un port ou je puis accuser, sans les craindre, des tyrans 
en de"mence, dont 1'orgueilleuse impuissance menace 
vainement ce dernier boulevard de la vieille Europe. 
C'est sous la protection d'une nation in^branlable que 
je depose ici et mes re*cits et mes douleurs. Sans sa 
magnanimite* j'eprouverais encore le tourment du silence. 
Jamais trop de reconnaissance ne payera le bienfait 
de cet affranchissement. ' l 

John Reeves, who received the whole family in 
his house in Cecil Street overlooking the river, was 
an odd, good-natured, clever man, extremely hospitable 
and friendly, and although very decided in his views 
free from all personal bitterness. He had begun life 
on a lawyer's pittance and ended it with ^"200,000, 
amassed during a thirty-five years' tenure of lucrative 
offices ; among them the post of Superintendent of the 
Alien Office, King's Patentee for the printing of Bibles 
and Prayer Books, and Chief Justice of Newfoundland 
resident in London, an appointment which gave rise 
to the comment that " either justice was not neces- 
sary to Newfoundland, or that John Reeves was not 
necessary to justice ". He probably owed his success 
in life to his political connection with Sir John Scott, 
afterwards Lord Eldon, during the proceedings at the 
Crown and Anchor tavern in the early part of the 
French Revolution, and his house was frequented by 
many of his political associates who greeted Mallet du 
Pan with great cordiality : men like " Mr. John Fowler 
and Mr. John Gifford, both bitter party men, but from 
whom we received the very kindest attention not only 
during my father's life but also after his death ". 

1 The concluding words of the preface to his essay on the destruc- 
tion of Swiss liberty (Mercure Britannique, 2oth Aug. 1798). 


" Our old friends," continues Mallet's son, 1 " the 
Wickhams, Rigauds, Saladins, Achards, Lord Fincastle, 
Sir John Macpherson, Malouet, Lally, and Montlosier 
likewise gave us the kindest welcome ; and a whole host 
of French emigrants of all shades of opinion, from the 
Bishop of Arras to the Chevalier de Grave (a Girondin), 
called on my father, all anxious to sound his intentions, 
to conciliate him to their own views, and to engage his 
talents and rising influence in support of their opinions. 
His former political ties and prepossessions were all 
on the side of his old friends the Monarchiens most 
of whom were in England ; but these friends, whose 
moderation and temperate views of government had 
led them to cultivate the society of the Whigs, did not 
like to see my father connect himself in England ex- 
clusively with the Anti-Jacobin party. They had 
likewise expected from their long intimacy with him 
that he would have placed himself at once in their 
hands, and associated some of them in his labours. 
My father's excited feelings on his arrival here, and 
his determination to take his own line, therefore pro- 
duced a little coolness at first. Malouet alone, who 
had a true affection for him and whose heart and 
generous disposition were inaccessible to any secondary 
considerations, devoted himself to us, gave my father 
excellent advice, and exerted himself with his English 
friends of whom he had many highly respectable to 
ensure my father's success." 

Nor was Mallet du Pan altogether neglected by 
members of the Government, although Reeves had 
warned him not to rely on their assistance in his 

" The old Lord Liverpool was one of the most 
considerable of those to whom Reeves introduced my 
father. He came to dine in Cecil Street, and I well 

1 Reminiscences, 


remember his cold, diplomatic, silent manner of all 
men the least calculated to inspire confidence and 
encourage independent talents. I must, however, do 
him the justice to say that he took a real interest in 
the success of my father's work. I have several letters 
of his written to Reeves previously to our coming to 
England, entering in detail into the means of securing 
its success. . . . 

" Very different in most respects was Mr. Windham, 
then Under-Secretary of State for the Home Depart- 
ment, whom we met at dinner at Mr. Wickham's, and 
whose courteous, open, and engaging manners formed 
a great contrast with old Jenkinson. We were de- 
lighted with his reception, and I shall never forget his 
taking me by the hand and saying, ' As to this young 
gentleman, he is no stranger to me ; for I have seen 
some letters of his, written in very good English, and 
very creditable to his feelings '. Nothing could exceed 
the openness and charm of his manner." l 

To him, as well as to some other friends, Mallet 
du Pan submitted a sort of prospectus of his intended 
work, and an estimate was formed of the expenses of 
the undertaking from which it appeared that 500 sub- 
scribers would give him an income ; but nothing like 
open countenance, such as the promise of occasional 
communications from the Foreign Office and other de- 
partments which were generally given to government 
papers, was forthcoming. All that the editor obtained 
was a subscription of twenty-five copies from the Home 
Office for the use of the French conquered colonies. 

:< There was then," writes his son, " hardly a court 
in Europe, save that of London, where a public writer 
of such character and influence would not have met 
with some personal attentions from the individuals at 

1 Reminiscences. 


the head of the Government. My father had been 
entrusted with an important mission by Louis XVI. ; 
he had been marked out by Bonaparte and the Directory 
as a man to be hunted out of the Continent ; he had 
lost his fortune, health, and peace of mind ; he had 
been banished from France for supporting an oppressed 
minority, with whom he had no other community of 
interest and feeling than a sense of public wrong ; he 
was a republican and a Protestant they were the 
privileged members of a Catholic and absolute monarchy. 
He might therefore have expected, without any un- 
reasonable pretensions, that the same men who were 
lavishing the treasures and the blood of this country 
in resisting the progress of the Revolution by every 
possible means, legitimate and illegitimate, would not 
have left him wholly unnoticed ; more particularly as 
there was hardly a subordinate agent employed in con- 
ducting some of the disgraceful underplots then going 
on that had not a personal access to the ministers. 
Mr. Pitt had, however, no predilection for men of 
letters, and was not conversant with French. But 
Lord Grenville and Lord Spencer, Lord Loughborough, 
Windham, and Canning were capable of appreciating 
the merits of a foreign writer. I have already men- 
tioned Mr. Windham's courteous reception of us ; but 
our intercourse ended there. We afterwards met 
Mr. Canning at Sir W. Drummond's to whom Lord 
Dunmore had introduced us ; but his manner was dis- 
tant and cold, and he did not utter five sentences 
during the whole of dinner. Gifford, the poet, who 
was likewise there maintained a repulsive silence ; 
such are the manners of this country, and the reception 
foreigners not unfrequently experience even in the best 
society. I am aware that such disappointments were 
not peculiar to us, and that in a greater or less degree 
Johnson's maxim that 'for aught he knew all foreigners 
were fools ' generally prevails in the minds of English- 
men. I am likewise aware of the disinclination of 


English people, even the best bred and best educated, 
to converse in French ; but this mauvaise honte 
ought to give way to a feeling of courtesy and to the 
desire of benefiting by the conversation of men dis- 
tinguished for their information or talents." 

In spite of all difficulties, however, Mallet's reputa- 
tion and the energy of his friends enabled him to start 
a new journal, appearing every fortnight, which was 
called the Mercure Britannique. 

" All our friends exerted themselves with the greatest 
zeal, and subscriptions came in rapidly. The Dukes 
of York, Kent and Gloucester, the ministers, and many 
persons of rank and of Parliamentary or literary distinc- 
tion, were among the number. Most of the foreign 
ministers in England, and many distinguished persons 
on the Continent likewise subscribed, so that we soon 
exceeded 500 copies, and in the course of a few months 
reached 750 : a large circulation for a foreign news- 
paper published in England." 2 

The objects which the editor set before himself 
in this publication were to direct the efforts of Europe 
against the French, to enforce the lessons of ten 
years of revolution, and to combat misconceptions 
prevalent no less on the Continent than in England 
as to the strength, the success and the character 
of the French Republic, the ability of its rulers, the 
irresistible march of the Revolution, and the means of 
hindering its approach. Such misconceptions were 
among the most serious obstacles to the formation of 

1 Reminiscences. 

2 Mercure Britannique ; ou Notices historiques et critiques sur les 
affaires du temps, 4 vols., composed of thirty-six numbers, the first dated 
2oth August 1798, and the last 25th March 1800. It was widely circu- 
lated in Europe and several times republished after the author's death. 


a new coalition such as that which was headed by Pitt 
at the beginning of the year 1799. 

These few volumes for the work lasted only two 
years contain the maturest fruit of his genius and 
experience, and in turning to it, after the diplomatic 
correspondence in which the last few years had been 
passed, one cannot but feel that his own instinct was 
right in telling him that he was at his best as a journalist. 
That correspondence indeed is distinguished, as we have 
seen, for its just and powerful analyses of public opinion 
in France and of the spirit of parties, for its outspoken 
criticism of the conduct of the allies, and above all for 
an intelligible view of policy urged with spirit and 
consistency, and enforced by appeals to experience. 
But it would be in the highest degree unfair to base 
a judgment of the author upon this portion of his work 
alone. Written for a special purpose, the official corre- 
spondence deals with a restricted portion of the subject, 
and its faults are perhaps inseparable from such a species 
of composition. A certain optimism was both prudent 
and politic in writing to the parties upon whom success 
or failure depended, and some exaggeration and violence 
of tone, some repetition of ideas, are certain to be found 
in a series of secret memoranda presented to a Cabinet, 
and published, as historical criticism demands, in the 
exact form in which they were written. It is to the 
works in which he appealed to Europe and to posterity 
that we must look for broader views than are to be 
found in the pleadings of an advocate and diplomatist. 
Moderation, or what passed for it, was not to be expected 
from one whose convictions had been hardened in the 
furnace of experiences such as his, and moderation is 
not the word to describe the tone of the Mercure 


Britannique, at all events in the articles on the treatment 
of the Swiss cantons. The younger Mallet, when he 
remarks on the u too indiscriminately violent " tone of 
the journal, and compares it in this respect with the 
writings of Burke, makes a criticism more in harmony 
with the spirit of the liberal reaction of his own lifetime 
than would perhaps be passed on it by recent students 
of the Revolution. But what the work loses in calm 
detachment of style it gains in force, in precision, in 
concentration, in emphasis, in irony. " Never," writes 
the latest and most judicious of his critics, M. Valette, 
"did the gifts of observation, of moral analysis, of 
vigorous and vehement expression shine with a brighter 
ray in Mallet's works than during these last years which 
marked the destruction of his hopes, and convinced him 
of the uselessness of his long career of struggle, of 
danger, and of unrecognised devotion." To represent 
Mallet du Pan's writing at this time as having lost its 
balance and judgment would indeed be to give a wholly 
false impression of the Mercure as a whole. His atti- 
tude towards the ultra- Royalists and his appreciation 
of Bonaparte's position are sufficient evidence to the 
contrary, and his articles on such subjects as Washing- 
ton's career, on the influence of the philosophers, and 
on the causes of the Revolution, are conceived in a spirit 
very far removed from that attributed to him by some of 
his critics. If, for instance, we are wearied by the itera- 
tion of gloomy forebodings of the fate of Europe, of the 
irresistible might of the Revolutionary movement, of the 
impending dissolution of social order, we may turn to a 
passage, one among many, to words which seem rather 
those of an historian than of one who had suffered from 
the convulsion every misfortune but the guillotine : 


" The annals of the world have preserved the 
memory of many such climacteric eras, in which the 
intoxication of unreason working upon human passions 
has seized upon society to destroy its harmony and 
punish generations of its members. We hear it said that 
the Revolution is unparalleled in its horror. Nothing, 
not even the wonder of fools, is unparalleled in this 
world. As for horror, was it, alas ! less grievous to be 
a loyal royalist in Paris when Charles the Bad assassi- 
nated the Marshal de Champagne in the very arms of 
his sovereign ? Was it less grievous to be the Admiral 
de Coligny in 1572 than the Prince de Conde* in 1793 ? 
Was it less grievous to be the descendant of Aurungzebe, 
or of Michael Palseologus, than of Louis XIV. ? For 
contemporary witnesses every event is unique, yet 
history offers us a succession of perpetual but dissimilar 
horrors. It is the honourable task of the historian to 
discriminate between them ; the learning of a pedant 
can discover their resemblances." l 

1 Merc. jBrit., No. 8, xoth December 1798. The passage which 
follows is so characteristic of the author both in style and matter, 
that I may be excused for quoting it in the original : 

" Ce qui sert a faire de la Revolution de France un tableau sans 
exemple, ce ne sont ni ses doctrines, ni ses crimes, ni ses origines, ni 
ses malheurs : c'est le caractere particulier de ses auteurs et de ses 
victimes ; c'est ce melange de mechancete usurpatrice et de fanatisme 
scolastique ente sur la vanite nationale ; c'est cet enchainement de 
crimes rendus necessaires par d'autres crimes, dans ces transitions 
graduelles de 1'esprit d'independance au besoin d'un despotisme 
rdgulier ; c'est cette inconstance des opinions apres la fievre de 
1'enthousiasme ; c'est cette union du ge"nie des sectes a celui des 
conquerants, qui attaque a la fois les territoires et les institutions, 
les religions, les usages, les moeurs, les proprietes et les sentiments 
publics ; c'est ce concours de 1'hypocrisie avec la feVocite, du langage 
des lumieres avec la bassesse de 1'ignorance, des sophismes avec les 
forfaits, et d'une corruption perfectionnee avec la brutalitd des temps 
de barbaric : c'est, enfin, ce contraste eternel entre les principes et 
les actions, entre 1'empire des idees et celui des interets, entre la force 


The first three numbers of the new periodical were 
filled with an account of the invasion of Switzerland 
and the destruction of the Helvetic Confederacy, 
written with all the energy and eloquence of outraged 
patriotism. This event had excited great interest and 
indignation in England which was kept alive by the 
heroic and continued resistance of the smaller cantons. 

" The title of the work," writes Mallet's son, 1 " Essay 
on the Destruction of the Helvetic Confederacy, does not 
seem the most suitable to an animated historical nar- 
rative ; but it was probably adopted with reference to the 
first part of it, containing an analysis of the causes which 
led to the subversion of the Confederacy : a masterly 
sketch (as I remember hearing Dumont observe) of the 
struggles of a Republic menaced with foreign invasion 
and torn by internal dissensions. The first chapter 
treats of the moral and civil state of the Canton of 
Berne previously to the Revolution, and contains an 
account of the manners and Government of that happy 
people, of which neither time nor any change of circum- 
stances can ever lessen the interest. In reading the 
chapter, and more particularly that part of it which 
relates to the manners of the Bernois peasantry, my 
children will form a just notion of the talents and feel- 
ing of their grandfather, and of the people whom the 

des hommes et celle des evenements : contraste qui, apres avoir 
enfante une suite de vicissitudes, les a perpetuees, et qu'on n'explique 
ni par des declamations, ni par des fables apocalyptiques sur les 
causes secretes ". 

Again : " Un revoke peut etre 1'ouvrage d'un quart d'heure ; 
les Revolutions sont celui des siecles. Aucune n'eut sa source 
dans un principe inopine : mais en s'unissant a une ou plusieurs 
causes accidentelles, leurs mobiles preparatoires et antecedants 
les developpent. La poudre a canon eclate a 1'approche d'une 
etincelle; ce n'est pas 1'etincelle qui compose la poudre a canon." 

1 Reminiscences. * 


French came to regenerate. I would have them turn 
to a note at page 45, containing a striking description 
of a Bernois country wedding. Often have I seen my 
father rise from the composition of this work overcome 
and agitated, and walking up and down the room until 
he had recovered from the powerful emotions excited in 
his mind. He was then almost ready to say with Valen- 
tine of Milan, ' Rien ne m'est plus, plus ne m'est rien '." 

The work had an immediate and gratifying success 
the first edition being at once exhausted. Mallet du 
Pan, we read, was particularly touched by the letters 
he received from several Bernese gentlemen ; and by 
none more than a letter from Ch. L. Haller, 1 the 
Gallican enthusiast who in his capacity of Secretary to 
the Police Committee of Council at Berne in 1797 had 
been so active in promoting Mallet's sentence of banish- 
ment from the canton. The eyes of this infatuated 
young man had been opened by subsequent events, and 
his patriotic feelings excited in an opposite direction. 

This auspicious beginning put the exiled family in 
good spirits, and they saw the hope of better days 
and of a less precarious and unsettled existence. After 
staying three weeks with John Reeves they had taken 
up their residence at 19 Woodstock Street, a small 
street out of Oxford Street and running into Bond 
Street, which they could see from their windows filled 
then, as now, with a fashionable throng. Popularity, 
however, is seldom attained without some sacrifices. 

" Our drawing-room 2 became a sort of levee, which 
very much broke in upon my father's time and occupa- 

1( 'Vingt fois," he wrote, "en lisant cet ouvrage digne de 
Salluste et de Tacite des sanglots m'ont empeche de continuer." 
2 Reminiscences. 


tions. Our emigrant friends, who came in and out all 
day and at all hours, formed much the best part of 
our society, for most of them were distinguished men. 1 
Besides those I have mentioned we often saw Cice, 
the old Archbishop of Bordeaux ; the Archbishop of 
Aix, a courtly, eloquent, high-bred ecclesiastic of a 
noble family ; the Prince de Poix, the Baron de Gilliers, 
the Abbe Lajare, Panat ; Bourmont, the Vendean 
chief, afterwards General of Division under Napoleon 
- a clever, graceful, insinuating person ; Pozzo di 
Borgo who subsequently became a favourite of the 
Emperor Alexander and his Ambassador at Paris after 
1814, and was one of the most active and influential 
agents in the great political events which began at 
Moscow and terminated at Waterloo : a true Corsican, 
but possessing extraordinary sagacity and talents. 

" We likewise saw a good deal of our own country- 
men Dumont, Saladin, D'Yvernois, Dr. Marcet, De 
la Rive, and several Swiss and Genevese young men 
who had settled in this country after the Revolution." 

The reputation of the new journal was more than 
sustained by subsequent numbers. Plenty of material 
for useful comment was supplied by the respective 
positions of France and the other European states,' 2 the 
Egyptian expedition, the battle of the Nile and the 
failure of General Humbert's descent on Ireland, and 

1 " Chateaubriand was then in England, and gave an evening 
lecture at M. Malouet's, at which he read Atala and some sketches 
of his subsequent work, Le Genie du Christianisme. Many persons 
of note among the emigrants were there, and Calonne and my father 
were of the number. After the lecture, my father said to the persons 
near him, ' II y a du talent dans tout cela, mais je ne comprends rien 
a ses harmonies de la Nature et de la Religion ' ; in which opinion 
Calonne concurred." The conjunction of the two names is inter- 
esting and the comment characteristic. (Reminiscences.} 

2 The fourth number, which contained a remarkable paper on 
the political relations and situation of the Continental States, was 
at least as successful as the essay on Switzerland. 


finally by the successful efforts of the British Govern- 
ment to form a new coalition by means of an alliance 
with Russia against the Directory. Mallet du Pan did 
his utmost to remove the jealous alarm of the Austrians 
at the prospect of admitting the Russian forces into the 
German States by drawing attention to the real danger, 
the resolute and unbounded ambition of the Republican 
Government, which, as he said, had "placed Europe 
under an interdict," and " was devouring it leaf by leaf 
like an artichoke ". He followed in his pages the 
early brilliant successes of the northern confederacy 
and their reconquests, succeeded however by the de- 
feat of the British and Russians in Holland and that 
of Suwarow at Zurich ; reverses due mainly as usual 
to the mistakes of the allies, of which Mallet specially 
signalised the cruel devastation of Switzerland by the 

O ' 

foreign troops and the consequent disastrous and im- 
politic alienation of Swiss sympathies. In December 
he gave an account of the budget opened by Pitt (on 
the 3rd), which he described as being rather a complete 
course of public economy than a ministerial discourse ; 
"one of the finest works of positive and speculative 
finance which have ever distinguished the pen of a 
philosopher or of a statesman V As the winter, which 
was a very severe one, went on, and communication with 
the Continent became more difficult, he was thrown 
more and more on his own resources to fill the pages 
of the Mercure. For almost two months his corre- 
spondence from abroad was suspended, fifteen Hamburg 
mails arriving together on the 1 6th of March. To this 
time belong several papers of general interest, such as 

1 Mr. Gladstone quoted this account in his own great budget 
speech in 1853. 


those on the anarchy of European political systems and 
on the Union with Ireland, notably however one on 
the influence of philosophical writings as one of the 
causes of the French Revolution. 1 

It was not long before the vigour and independence 
with which Mallet du Pan exercised his newly found 
privilege to write, think and speak, involved him in 
difficulties with his French readers. Their hopes had 
survived even the i8th of Fructidor, and they were 
displeased that he would not flatter them with the 
prospect of an early settlement of affairs. The fulfil- 
ment of his gloomy anticipations did not make him 
more popular with them, and they had not relished his 
insistence on the necessity of prosecuting the war. 
The " King " who had never forgiven his condemnation 
of the Verona manifesto held no communication with 
him, but his brother, Monsieur (the Comte d'Artois), 
had soon after his arrival in London written him a 
long and flattering letter 2 in reply to one from Mallet 
counselling patience and inaction. In this letter 
Monsieur urged him to use all the influence he conceived 
him to possess with the British Cabinet, in favour of 
continued efforts to reimpose the Bourbon dynasty on 
France : 'Paries, tonnes, ne craignez pas den trop dire 
d un cabinet qui sail apprecier votre opinion '. But when 
he went on to speak of the necessity of a restoration 
by armed intervention if the King were to preserve 
sufficient authority to govern a great people, and to 
deprecate any transaction or compromise, he was run- 
ning directly counter to the views of the man he was 

1 Merc. Brit., No. 14, loth March 1799. See appendix for the 
latter part of this paper. 

2 Sayous, vol. ii., pp. 502-508. 


pretending to consult ; and events having again during 
the early months of 1799 become more favourable to 
the fortunes of the Princes, Mallet's advice was for the 
time neither sought nor tendered, and he was left un- 
molested by the ultra- Royalists, who, however, jealously 
scanned his pages for any expressions reflecting on the 
ancien regime or showing a leaning towards constitu- 
tional modifications. 

As his son wrote : l 

"His English readers respected his talents and 
character, and caring little for the fanciful distinctions 
and shades of opinion by which the royalists were 
divided, they only saw in my father a man thoroughly 
in earnest, who was on the right side of the question, 
and wrote with great spirit and independence ; and 
this ought to have been the feeling of all persons 
hostile to the French Revolution. But the same 
jealousy of liberal opinions which had excluded the 
Intendant of Brittany from the circle of the President 
of Boisgelin in a Paris prison during the Reign of 
Terror, watched with a scrutinizing and jealous eye 
every opinion and even expression in my father's writings 
which might be construed as inimical to the ancien 
regime. Many of these Marat 's a cocarde blanche, 
as my father had once called them, derived a very 
comfortable existence (and some of them a very large 
income) from the plots and intrigues of which they 
enjoyed a monopoly, and to which sounder views of 
policy would have put an end. With such fears as 
these, and the honest conviction entertained by some of 
them that no circumstances should induce the Bourbons 
to bend the knee before Baal, they looked with abhor- 
rence on any man who raised a doubt of their exclusive 
right to political influence, as well as to British gold." 

1 Reminiscences. 


Mallet du Pan was only too anxious to avoid con- 
troversies which, as he knew from long experience, 
could serve no useful purpose. With the fresh collapse 
of the alliance in the summer of 1799, however, the 
Royalists soon became more aggressive. Mallet's son 
gives an instance of the lengths to which this sort of 
feeling could be carried in social intercourse. Their old 
friend, the Abbe de Lisle, who followed them to London l 

1 " I went and sought them, got them a lodging in Bond Street, 
at a French bookseller's, and when fairly settled, I listened to and 
smiled at the poor Abbe's ludicrous account of his adventures ; things 
that, to his mind, had happened to no one else since people had 
travelled, and which he told with such a mixture of grave and gay, 
of lamentation and levity, of quotations from La Fontaine and 
Moliere and his own fertile muse, that it would have been an 
entertainment for an audience. Then who can forget his little 
smart figure, his ugly, expressive phiz, and turned-up nose? But I 
have all along said ' they,' and must explain why. The Abbe de Lisle 
had a female companion, Mile Vaudechamp, who had left France 
with him; a woman without education, coarse in her looks and 
manners, and who was said to have recourse to rough methods with 
the poor Abbe, even to occasional use of the poker. The Abbe 
called her his niece, a clerical nom de guerre. There were other 

"... but Fame 
Says things not fit for me to name." 

What with his blindness, and her untractable disposition, they were 
very helpless at first, and altogether on our hands. The Abbe, 
however, read English, and understood it when spoken distinctly: 
he knew some of Pope's works almost by heart, and had translated 
the Essay on Man and the Epistle to Arbuthnot. Pope was the 
Abbe's model ; but he (Pope) had a finer imagination and stronger 
conception. Rivarol used to say of the Abbe de Lisle's writings, 
that he was too anxious to secure the success of each verse, and 
neglected the fortune of the work. His exquisite ear, and great 
exactness and elegance, are no doubt among his chief merits ; and 



was dining one day at their house in company with 
Malouet, Bertrand de Moleville and De la Rive of 
Geneva, when he suddenly observed ' Le Roi ne 
doit retourner en France qu'a tr avers un pied de 
sang\ Mallet expostulated with him observing that 
there was hardly a person in the room who would 
not fall under the axe of such exterminating maxims, 
upon which the Abbe" quite beside himself turned to 
Malouet and said, ' Et vous, vous meritez d'etre fiendu ! ' 
Such feelings as these made a collision sooner or 
later inevitable, and the incident had better be given 
in the words of the younger Mallet. 

"It would have been better for my father's peace 
of mind if he had left the hostility of these excited 
politicians unnoticed ; but it assailed him from so many 
quarters, and in so many shapes in pamphlets, letters 
and society that he lost his patience, and exposed 
their narrowness and political bigotry, their mischievous 
opinions and unrelenting disposition, in terms which 
could never be forgiven. It was on the occasion of 
a letter of Malouet's, printed in the number for July 
1799, on the subject of some notions then entertained 
that a large party in France was desirous of establish- 
ing a constitutional monarchy, and would offer the 
crown to the Duke of Orleans or some foreign prince 
to the exclusion of the legitimate princes. Malouet 
expatiated on the impolicy of those views, which he 
ascribed to two causes first, to the ignorance in which 
the French people were kept of the real sentiments of 
Louis XVIII. ; and secondly, to the character of the 
war on the part of the allies. This letter was not, in 
my opinion, very judicious ; but the clamour raised 

he must be ranked, as well as Pope, among those of the eloquentia 
genus who are distinguished for the pressum et mite et limitum, rather 
than for the plenu m et erectum, etaudax, etpraecehum " (Reminiscences). 


against it was altogether founded on the opinion of 
the writer that the King was ready to make great 
sacrifices of authority, and to lend himself to any 
system of conciliation which might unite in one com- 
mon interest all the friends of a limited monarchy. 
This was not to be borne, and Malouet was, therefore, 
assailed from all quarters, and treated like a traitor or 
an apostate. He was attacked with peculiar violence 
by a clever, unprincipled royalist writer, Peltier, who 
was then engaged in a periodical work called the 
Ambigu. My father, therefore, came forward in his 
next number for August 1799: 

" ' Quelqu'un s'avise-t-il de proclamer 1'indulgence, 
la clemence, la justice du Roi ; son aversion pour le 
pouvoir arbitraire, son discernement sur ce que les 
opinions de son siecle renferment d'erreurs a repousser 
ou de connaissances a menager? Des cris s'elevent 
pour contredire cet dloge, pour en diffamer 1'objet, et 
apprendre a la France que les vertus du Roi sont 
autant de chimeres. . . . On leur parle de Gouverne- 
ment legal : ils ne veulent ni legalite ni Gouvernement. 
L'art d'administrer les soci&es humaines est pour eux 
le sabre et le potence ... ils ne veulent de lois que 
celles qui mettent le peuple sous leur d^pendance sans 
leur en imposer aucune. ... Ils meprisent toute Res- 
tauration qui terminerait les malheurs de la France et 
les perils de 1' Europe, a moms qu'elle ne rendit a une 
poign^e de privilegies le droit de disposer a leur gre, et 
exclusivement, du Monarque et de la Monarchic. 1 . . . 
Quelqu'eclatant neanmoins que puisse etre le crescendo 
de leurs clameurs lorsqu'ils voyent le sens commun 
approcher du Capitole, il faut desabuser les fran^ais et 
F^tranger sur les intentions du Roi de la majorite des 
Emigre's, et sur 1'effervescence d'individus isoles, pour 

1 It is only necessary to read the last proclamation of the 
Directory to the French people signed by Sieyes, 17 Fructidor, An 7, 
to realise how the language used by these " ultras " played the game 
of the Republicans (See Merc. Brit., No. 25, 25th Sept. 1799). 


qui la Revolution est encore et sera toujours une revolte 
de faubourgs? 

" These strictures, and an expression of great 
severity indirectly applied to Peltier, produced a per- 
fect storm in the circles of pure Royalism ; and Peltier 
henceforth became a bitter and irreconcilable enemy. 
What most annoyed these avengers of the Throne 
and the Altar was my father's taking upon himself to 
disavow their opinions on behalf of the King. They 
held that he had no authority for so doing, and that 
the King's conscience was exclusively in their keeping. 
I am not sure that an appeal to the King himself would 
have been very safe. But my father, nevertheless, had 
his vouchers, and he was fully entitled to make use of 
them for so useful a purpose ; for, as he justly observed, 

" ' No exertions of the Royalists can be of any 
advantage to the King, as the circumstances of his 
situation and the political state of France do not 
admit of his availing himself either of their services 
or opinions : what is of importance to him, however, 
is to conciliate the mass of his subjects that are now 
estranged from him, to weaken opposition and hostile 
wishes, to disarm the fears of those who might really 
serve him if they thought they could do it with 

" It was but lately that my father had transmitted to 
the King, through the Marshal de Castries, two letters 
from Portalis, 1 full of sense and practical wisdom, ex- 
patiating on this very topic, and which are now in 
my possession, together with the Marshal's answer, 
expressing his entire concurrence in the views they 
contain. My father had likewise been in correspon- 
dence with Monsieur, who, whatever might be his 
real sentiments, also expressed his concurrence in my 
father's views, and the highest opinion of his judgment 
and sagacity." 

1 For these important letters, see Sayous, ii., 393-400. 


On this occasion accordingly Monsieur came to 
London, openly blamed his adherents, and sending for 
Malouet and Mallet du Pan expressed to them his vexa- 
tion that they should have been exposed to this hostility 
of persons professing to be the friends of his family. 

It was the least that he could do, for Malouet's 
letter which had led to the storm had been inserted at 
the express desire of Louis XVIII. Mallet gave an 
account of the interview l which obliged him to cut 
short a few days' much-needed holiday in a friend's 
house at Reigate, in a letter to Sainte-Aldegonde. 
The Bishop of Arras, the Comte d'Escars and the agent 
Dutheil had, he said, the mortification of witnessing 
his reception by Monsieur, who talked alone with him 
for twenty minutes and who listened with apparent 
approval, when he insisted on the unfortunate effect 
upon opinion in France of the publication of such 
attacks as those of which he and Malouet had been 
the victims. 'A la Jin c'Uait moi qui me trouvais 
t aristocrat* le plus entier ! ' Sainte-Aldegonde in reply 
warned him that the Prince's action was ' un hommage 
forcd et de circonstance* and that at the first success 
of the allied armies they would no longer condescend 
to look at him. " The Princes will remain what they 
are ; they will never employ que des especes, and Mon- 
sieur with all his gracious affability is no more likely 
to change than others." Sainte-Aldegonde knew 
his man, and Mallet, who can hardly have needed the 
warning, is found writing February i8oo, 2 " I have 
not seen Monsieur again ; he associates only with his 
courtiers, and is more adulated than at Versailles. . . . 
I earnestly desire to be absolutely forgotten in that 

1 Sayous, ii., 404. "* Ibid., 435. 


quarter ; there is nothing to be done with persons who 
are not honest (des gens qui ne sont pas vrais)" 

The tide indeed seemed once more to be running 
in favour of the royal house of France, for by the end 
of the summer it had become evident that the days of 
the Directory were numbered. Never during ten years 
of upheaval had government been more powerless or 
anarchy in every department more rampant. Taxes 
were unpaid, conscripts refused to come in, robbery, 
crime and open rebellion were unpunished, Jacobinism 
could no longer be galvanised into life ; while even in war 
fortune had deserted the Republic, for the victorious close 
of the campaign in Holland and Switzerland was more 
than counterbalanced by the fiasco of the French in 
Egypt and Bonaparte's desertion of his army. This 
time, however, Mallet did not pretend to share the hopes 
of the royalist party, he expected nothing from the 
representatives of the monarchy, and he confined him- 
self to commenting on passing events and indicating 
the line of action which a true royalist party, had one 
existed, might perhaps even then successfully have 
followed by taking advantage of the movement after 
the 3Oth of Prairial towards restraining the prero- 
gative of the Directory. There is a reflection in 
his writing of the spirit of apathy, of discouragement, 
of disillusionment, which in France had succeeded 
the fever of revolutionary enthusiasm ; and again we 
notice the disbelief he had often expressed in the im- 
portance of individuals in times of revolution. " A 
dogmatic revolution may create instruments, never per- 
manent leaders, for it is of the essence of revolution 
to recognise no authority, no superiority. In the 
presence of its terrible genius men appear no more 


than shadows." l Barras and Sieyes indeed dominated 
the Directory without dominating France, and they 
were intent only on bringing about the inevitable end 
in such a manner as to secure impunity and fortune for 
themselves. Barras had sunk to intrigues with royalist 
agents, and in return for his promises of assistance in 
a restoration had obtained from Louis XVIII. letters 
patent assuring him against all punishment, and grant- 
ing him an immense pension. The machinations of 
Sieyes were of more importance and interest. He too, 
convinced that the Republic was dead, was casting about 
for some combination which would secure his own 
position. At first it was the Archduke Charles to be 
married to Madame Royale and enthroned in France ; 
then some general who was to be the instrument of 
a.coup d'JEtat, Joubert, Jourdan, Macdonald, Bernadotte, 
but not yet the absent and almost forgotten Bonaparte, 
whose coadjutor he had been in Fructidor. From the 
first the character, the ambition, the aims and methods 
of the Abbe Sieyes had set him apart and attracted 
the attention of Mallet du Pan, who made him the 
subject of one of his few elaborate portraits. Superior 
as he was to the mob of agitators he was not the man 
to see France a prey to their intrigues without en- 
deavouring to become their master. The political 
metaphysician had qualities which eminently fitted 
him for the task he set himself. Fertile in resource, 
he could wait in silence without conceiving chimerical 
plans ; he united dexterity and constancy, and no one, 
when a great occasion demanded it, "could better pre- 
serve control over himself, or obtain it over others ". 

1 Merc. Brit., No. 22. 


Sieyes was to be the author of the general plan 
and of the preparatory steps of the coup d?tat. But 
when the time had come the necessary impulsion for 
another change could only be found in military force. 
'// me faut une epee? he exclaimed in an epigram 
which ended, as another had begun, 1 the Revolution ; 
he sought a sword, however, which should be his 
servant, not his master. When Bonaparte adopted 
the scheme prepared by him, the civil arm sank 
into insignificance ; the famous constitution, the most 
impracticable but the most ingenious system of checks 
and balances ever devised, was adopted shorn of all 
its distinctive features, and the philosopher who had 
been the oracle and epitome of the revolutionary 
epoch ended his days as a count and a pensioner. 2 
It has been said that, while his position was one of 
opposition to the historical school of Montesquieu, he 
was not more in harmony with the logical school of 

1 Sainte-Beuve has collected the epigrams with which Sieyes " bap- 
tised " the supreme moments of the Revolution. 

At the opening of the States-General he asked, " Qu'est-ce que 
le Tiers-E~tat ? " and replied, " C'est tout ! " 

At the breach of the Two Orders with the deputies of the Third 
Estate, he gave the latter the title of " National Assembly ". 

When the National Assembly, yielding to passion and intrigue, 
began to go astray in its labours, he exclaimed, " Us veulent etre 
libres et ils ne savent pas etre justes ! " 

After the Terror he pronounced the pregnant words, " J'ai vecu," 
and when he saw the failure of the Directory, " II me faut une epee " 
(Causeries, vol. v., p. 205). 

2 He was given the estate of Crone with an immense revenue. 

Sieyes a Bonaparte avait promis un trone 
Sous ses debris brillants voulant Pensevelir ; 
Bonaparte a Sieyes fait present de Crone 
Pour le payer et Favilir. 


Rousseau. His favourite studies had always been of 
an abstract character ; this taste was in him intensified 
by a positive aversion for the study of history, and to 
judge of the present by the past was with him to judge 
of the known by the unknown. In his incapacity for 
any but d priori methods in politics he belonged to the 
revolutionary tribe ; he differed from them, and this it 
was that gave him his strength, in his conception of 
the possibilities of democratic society. He believed, 
as they did not, in representative government. The 
elaborate constitutional schemes to which Sieyes clung 
all through the Revolution attest his constant effort to 
escape from the logical conclusion of the doctrines of 
Rousseau as exemplified in the Jacobin experiment of 
government. The Directorial system, in so far as it 
drew a line between the different functions of govern- 
ment, was the fruit of his genius ; in so far as it lacked 
the jury constitutionnaire, a plan for the further division 
and balance of powers, he repudiated it. He long re- 
fused a seat in the Directory, but remained their political 
adviser, a step in accordance with his dislike of open 
responsibility, his talent of "doing evil as Providence 
does good without being perceived ". The whole pas- 
sage in which Mallet has described this Catalina en 
petit collet is a masterpiece of satiric portraiture : 

" L'Abbe Sieyes est 1'homme le plus dangereux 
qu'ait fait connaitre la revolution. Des le premier jour 
il 1'a mesur^e theoriquement, mais sans en prevoir les 
horribles consequences. Republicain avant les e"tats- 
geneVaux de 1789, il n'a pas perdu un jour de vue 
le renversement du trone, de 1'Iiglise, de la religion 
catholique et de la noblesse. Heureusement cet opini- 
atre et penetrant novateur est le plus lache des mortels : 


aussitot qu'il a vu le danger, il s'est enseveli dans 1'ob- 
scurite. Quiconque lui fera peur le maitrisera toujours. 
Misanthrope atrabilaire, de 1'orgueil le plus exclusif, 
impatient et concentre, charlatan imperieux et jaloux, 
ennemi de tout meYite superieur au sien, personne n'a 
plus que lui 1'art de s'emparer des esprits en affectant 
le seul langage de la raison, de couvrir d'apparences 
plus froides ses passions, son maintien, son style. 
Dans un pays ou tout le monde se mele de raisonner 
et ou les prestiges de la philosophic ont seduit tous les 
rangs, I'abb6 Sieves est un homme important. Cepen- 
dant, jamais il n'obtint ni dans la premiere assemblee 
constituante, ni dans la convention actuelle, dont il 
est membre, de credit permanent. Mirabeau, qui le 
connaissait, le meprisait et le hai'ssait, 1'avait r^duit au 
silence. . . . II est capable d'ordonner les plus grands 
crimes pour faire adopter ses theories. Nul ne pre- 
me'dita plus longtemps, plus froidement, avec plus de 
reflexion, 1'abolition de la Royaute. Ennemi de tout 
pouvoir dont il ne sera pas le directeur spirituel, il a 
aneanti la noblesse parce qu'il n'etait pas noble, son 
ordre parce qu'il n'etait pas archeveque, les grands 
proprietaires parce qu'il pas riche, et il ren- 
verserait tous les trones parce que la nature ne 1'a pas 
fait roi." 1 

All this time the rival intriguers believed, or tried 
to believe, that Bonaparte, all-powerful as he had been 
after Fructidor, no longer counted. Thirteen months 
of exile in Africa, by turns glorious and ignominious, 
might well have buried his renown ; already he was 
beginning to be forgotten when his reappearance in 
Provence on the 9th of October, and his triumphant 
progress from Frejus to Paris, showed that he was the 
hero and deliverer for whom the people were waiting. 

1 Correspondence for Vienna, i., 127, 28th Feb. 1795. 


Even then, and after the scene in the Orangery of Saint- 
Cloud and the establishment of the Consulate, the signi- 
ficance of his return was curiously little realised outside 
France. Mallet du Pan no more than others had fore- 
seen this turn of events, but he was almost alone among 
the Emigres in his immediate comprehension of its mean- 
ing and its consequences. Among a party of his friends 
at his own house when the news of Bonaparte's landing 
was received, and when most of those present spoke of 
it as an event of no importance and of Bonaparte as a 
man of lost character and influence, Mallet du Pan ex- 
pressed a different opinion, and observed that it was an 
event big with consequences to France and to Europe. 
The emigres for weeks continued to hug the delusion 
that the First Consul was a new Monk who had made 
his coup d'tat in order to replace the crown on the 
head of Louis XVIII., and the King himself caused 
negotiations to be opened with the First Consul, and 
even wrote to him direct. Mallet combated the notion 
in the Mercure, and in his private letters spoke of 
these poor " innocent emigres who . . . would be still 
at their A B C if the Revolution lasted a century. . . . 
I will not disguise my opinion that the re-establishment 
of Louis XVIII. and the old monarchy is adjourned 
to a distant future." 

Now at all events the ascendancy of Napoleon's 
genius is clear to Mallet du Pan ; and the "contempo- 
rary historian " is seen at his best in the luminous and 
eloquent pages in which he expresses his judgment on 
the last phase of the revolutionary era which he lived 
to witness. He would not have had cause to modify 
the words he used on the conqueror's return from Egypt 


upon which he had commented in a vein of irony, 1 not 
unworthy of Voltaire. 

"Able and energetic in action," he wrote, "mock- 
heroic in speech, never were valour and contempt for 
humanity, capacity and false greatness, intelligence 
and ignorant jugglery, insolent immodesty and splendid 
qualities, united to the same degree as in this man, 
extraordinary rather than great." 

If after Brumaire, continues Mallet, he refused the 
title of Dictator, Protector or Prince, it was assuredly 
not with the intention of restoring to his country its 
legitimate sovereign according to the frivolous opinion 
of the Royalists. Master of France in the Avenue of 
Saint-Cloud, it was upon his own head that Bonaparte 
would place the crown, if crown indeed there was to 
be. In a situation of this kind a man had rarely a 
fixed or definite object, he must wait upon events. 

" . . . His head is in the clouds, his career is a poem, 
his imagination a storehouse of heroic romance, and 
his stage is large enough for all the excesses of his will 

1 For instance : " Les plus hardis de ces romanciers, soutenus de la 
tourbe des idiots, n'ont pas manque a attribuer ce retour au zele de 
Bonaparte pour le bien public, et a son desir de reparer les defaites 
des armees republicaines. Sans nous permettre de deviner ses 
pensees intimes, il nous parait assez positif qu'il a saisi avec em- 
pressement le moment favorable ou il etait ramene sur la cote pour 
terminer sa captivite. Quelque delicieuses qu'aient pu etre les 
seances de 1'Institut National du Caire, 1'education philosophe des 
Cophtes, des Arabes et des Mamloucks, et 1'admirable constitution 
dont il a doue ces nouveaux elus, 1'avenir demeurait inquietant ; ses 
nuages rendaient encore plus regrettables les charmes de la Metro- 
pole, le fracas des eloges, et les destinees plus brillantes que Bona- 
parte avait daigne sacrifier au role de Legislateur d'un peuple nu et 
sans esprit" (Merc. Brit., No. 28, icth Dec. 1799). 


or his ambition. Who can decide where he will stop ? 
Is he sufficiently master of events and of time, of his 
own sentiments, of his own future to decide it for 
himself?" 1 

Nor was Mallet du Pan mistaken in his view of the 
revolution of the loth November 1799 which seemed 
to him of a new order, in its way as fundamental as 
that of 1789. " The materials, means, results and 
authors were all different ; it was the first time the 
military element had triumphed over the civil power." 
He could not share the opinion of those who, when 
they discovered that Bonaparte had made the coup 
(fEtat for himself, imagined that his reign and his 
political system would not last a month, who harped 
on the Chouans, on the exhaustion of the country and 
its finances, on the Jacobins and the other common- 
places which had done yeoman service since the be- 
ginning of the war. Projects of Chouannerie fill him 
" with shame and horror," and as for counter-revolution 
by means of foreign war, "people might as well talk 
of conquering the moon". "Bonaparte is king. . . . 
For my part, I see an immense power placed in the 
hands of a man who knows how to use it, who has 
on his side both the army and the people." No 
one described with more impartial care the measures 
taken by the First Consul to restore settled Govern- 
ment to France by concentrating power in his own 
hands, by reforming and purifying the administration, 
by confirming the rights of property created by the 
Revolution, by assimilating such of its principles (that 
of equality, for instance) as had taken root in the hearts 

1 Merc. Brit., No. 28, loth Dec. 1799. 


of the people, by reopening the churches, by putting 
down disorder and faction (the miserable Chouan rising 
was conquered more by persuasion and concession than 
by arms), by reconciling discordant opinions, and by 
availing himself of the services of men of talent of all 
parties who were willing to devote themselves to him. 
Recognising, as Mallet honestly did, the success of a 
policy which in many of its essentials he had for years 
pressed upon his Royalist friends, and witnessing their 
continued blindness ("the compensation for their miseries 
which Providence has happily provided for them ") he 
may be pardoned for a certain fatalistic resignation. 
It is easy to understand the spirit in which he wrote : 

" In truth when one sees how the affairs of the 
world are managed, how after eight years of experience 
it is always the same circle of visionary obstinacy in the 
teeth of evidence, of misunderstanding, of divisions, of 
egoism, one loses all interest in the future." 

For Mallet du Pan of all men could not have become 
a convert to the new Csesarism, as many of the emigres 
and some of his own associates were to do. It has 
been noted as a curious fact that the extreme Royalists 
seemed to have less antipathy to the Empire than they 
had displayed to a constitutional Monarchy. " The 
emigres," he writes in February 1800, "are returning 
in crowds, and among them many of the greatest names 
in France." 

Mallet du Pan recognised indeed with satisfaction 
that new prospects of order were opening for France, 
and he saw the advantage of the exercise of a firm 
and tutelary government by a man in whose talents the 
people had confidence. But there is nothing to show 


that he would have become reconciled to a system 
which was faithfully to carry out the revolutionary 
traditions in its contempt for the rights of nations, or 
that a man who had so retained his faith in free gov- 
ernment that at the end of the century he could pen an 
elaborate panegyric upon the career of Washington, 
would have acquiesced in a Government, beneficial in- 
deed compared with anarchy from which it sprang, but 
directly opposed to that liberal political system which 
had been the distinction of Switzerland, and whose 
traditions now lingered only in America and England. 
It is not difficult to predict on which side his sympathies 
would have been in the gigantic struggle which the 
unscrupulous ambition of Napoleon was so soon to 
force upon Europe, for he was one of those who 
saw in the character of the conqueror, no less than in 
that of the new form of government, a menace to the 
peace of the world. 

" Do we find," he asked, "at Milan, at Pavia, in 
Malta or in Egypt, a man loyal to his agreements, 
scrupulous in respecting incontestable rights, faithful in 
his promises, his proclamations, his solemn engage- 
ments, brotherly to the friends of France, just to neutral 
Powers, impressed with the feeling that war is in itself 
a sufficient curse without adding to it the systematic 
ruin of citizens and of the most useful public institu- 
tions, and conspiracies against peaceful and flourishing 
Governments ? " 

The consequences however of the Imperial regime 
to France and to Europe Mallet du Pan did not live to 
see, and meanwhile the favourable account he gave in 
the Mercure of the firm and conciliatory system of 
government which was being established in France 


exposed him to misrepresentations and to charges of 
inconsistency and altered opinions from persons, many 
of whom were to be found a few years later among the 
most assiduous of courtiers at the Tuileries. Had it 
not been for these repeated contentions, which acquired 
exaggerated importance from the fact that Mallet and 
his family lived so much with French emigres, their 
life would have been in many respects agreeable. The 
Mercure continued to be successful the net receipts 
of the first year having exceeded .1,000, and the 
author's house was frequented by many distinguished 
and well-informed people. But his health had long 
been a source of deep anxiety to his family. The 
climate of London, ' ce gouffre de vapeurs infernales} 
as he called it, was specially unfavourable to him, 
and from London, except for an occasional few days 
at a time, he could not escape while he was obliged 
every fortnight to turn out a political essay of sixty- 
four pages under all circumstances of health, spirits 
and public intelligence, without assistance except that 
of his son, who took upon himself the business con- 
nected with the printing, correspondence, accounts and 
postal arrangements. A very severe winter had been 
followed in 1799 by a cold and wet summer which 
proved very injurious to Mallet du Pan's health, and 
the French doctor whom he consulted totally mis- 
understood his case and assured his family that there 
was no cause for anxiety, though his wasted form and 
constant cough could leave no doubt of the progress 
of his malady. 1 

1 The admirable portrait by his countryman, J. F. Rigaud, R.A., 
reproduced at the beginning of this volume, was painted about this 
time, and it gives the idea of a man of seventy rather than of his real 


"In January 1800," writes the younger Mallet, 
" Lady Holderness, the widow of the last Earl of that 
name, from whom my father had received many atten- 
tions, was so struck with his altered looks that she re- 
quested her physician Sir Gilbert Blane to call on him. 
Sir Gilbert immediately saw that the case was nearly 
hopeless, and all he could do was to forbid a stimula- 
ting diet, administer opiates, and entreat my father, if 
possible, to withdraw from all occupations." 

The situation was indeed as nearly desperate as it 
well could be. After a gallant struggle for indepen- 
dence, Mallet found himself face to face with the 
necessity of giving up the sole provision for his family, 
and though he had at least as much claim on the bounty 
of the British Government as "the host of plotting 
emigres who drew thousands from the public purse 
for the most unworthy and mischievous purposes," he 
could not easily bring himself to ask for such assistance. 
In his extremity, however, he set out his difficulties in 
a remarkable letter to his friend, Wickham, then 
Minister Plenipotentiary with the allied armies in 
Germany : 

"Whatever resolution and exertion I may summon 
to my aid, I can succeed but imperfectly in overcoming 
the undermining influence of this painful malady. The 

age, which was under fifty. Mallet's son speaks of the tone, truth of 
expression, and careful finish of the picture, and adds : " Those 
friends who did not see him at this latter period of his life complain 
that they do not recognise in his picture the wonted animation of his 
eye and countenance ' the precursors of the tongue ' ; but premature 
age had quenched this living spark, and nothing was then left of him 
but that pensive look, that softened and thoughtful expression, on 
which I love to dwell ; for it is my last, my dearest recollection of 
him ! " 



physicians I have consulted agree in considering the 
climate of London and eight hours of sedentary and 
mental occupation as in the highest degree injurious to 
me. My present publication is my sole means of sub- 
sistence. It has supplied all the wants of my family 
during the past year ; but independently of some draw- 
backs, such as the income tax, and although the sub- 
scriptions have not fallen off, its popularity and success 
would be permanently injured by any carelessness of 
composition : and yet I feel that I am no longer cap- 
able of giving it the same degree of interest. Other 
circumstances have rendered my task more burden- 
some than it might have been, such as the ill-humour 
and complaints of Foreign Ministers, to which I have 
been subjected, and the calumnies and angry ebullitions 
of French emigrants, and more particularly of those 
who are distinguished as the King's confidential agents. 
Were I assured that these hostile feelings had no in- 
fluence on the Government I should have disregarded 
them ; but I cannot but deeply feel my not having 
received the slightest mark of approbation from any 
of the Ministers. I am altogether ignorant of the 
opinion they may entertain either of myself or my 
publication. I am altogether in the dark as to their 
own views, and therefore without security as to those 
I express. 

" You have approved, and every reasonable man 
must have approved, my asserting that degree of in- 
dependence of tone and opinion which was absolutely 
necessary to the character of my work ; but in the 
peculiar situation in which I was placed, I might never- 
theless have expected to be furnished with some index 
by which to regulate the exercise of it. On no one 
occasion have I received any communication or intelli- 
gence from the Foreign Office ; and notwithstanding 
the zeal and kindness of Mr. Flint, even the French 
papers reach me irregularly, and those I do receive are 
nearly useless for my purpose as they are all Royalist 


papers, whereas what I want is to learn the views and 
opinions of the French Government and of the faction 
whose influence has hitherto been predominant. 

" Were I still in the vigour of life and with my 
faculties unimpaired, I might perhaps overcome these 
difficulties ; but I am altogether unequal to the task 
of resisting the progress of a painful and debilitating 
malady and at the same time of prosecuting under all 
circumstances of body and mind, and with the requisite 
energy of purpose, a work of which a single paragraph 
incautiously expressed may compromise my reputation 
and peace of mind. 

" I have not yet considered, nor can I at present 
fix on any plan by means of which I might supply the 
wants of my family if I should be under the necessity 
of relinquishing the Mercure. Many friends urge my 
having recourse to the bounty of the British Govern- 
ment ; and it is at their solicitations that I now trouble 
you with these personal details. But I do not partici- 
pate in their confidence. I have no claims on the 
Government, and I am not acquainted with any of the 
Ministers. Besides that, I am the most awkward of 
suitors when I am personally concerned. Indeed, I 
do not see what reasonable motives I could urge for 
granting to a stranger what an Englishman does not 
always obtain after long public services. 

" I feel it due to my family, however, to submit these 
difficulties to you. Were any allowance to be granted 
to me by the Government, I should at least wish to 
earn it in some way or other, and that I might not eat 
the bread of idleness. It seems not unreasonable to 
suppose in the present aspect of affairs that some em- 
ployment connected with objects of public utility might 
be found for me. Too much of an invalid to be any 
longer a stage-coach driver, starting at the same hour 
in all weather, I may possibly retain such a share of 
health as might enable me to follow occupations of a 
less laborious and less critical nature. 


" I rely on your usual kindness to assist me with 
your opinion and advice. If all idea of interesting the 
Government in my favour be chimerical, I will lose no 
time in turning my mind to such literary resources as 
may be within my reach, and may secure my family 
against absolute want. Pray excuse this indiscreet 
request. You are the only friend to whom I could 
have submitted such an application ; and you are, I 
believe, sufficiently acquainted with me to feel assured 
that the most urgent circumstances could alone have 
wrung it from me. You will receive it with indulgence, 
and consider it as a proof of my unbounded confidence 
in your kindness and regard." 

This letter did not reach Wickham till the following 
March, by which time Mallet du Pan had been obliged 
to abandon the editorship of the Mercure. Wickham 
replied on the 24th of March that he would communi- 
cate Mallet's situation and wishes to Lord Grenville 
by a messenger then leaving Augsburg for London. 
" Do not be impatient if you do not receive an 
immediate answer," he wrote, "but rest assured that 
I will neglect nothing that may tend to serve you, 
though, God knows, I shall not be able to do much." 

Meanwhile Mallet du Pan had retired to Richmond, 
where Lally-Tollendal had a house which he placed at 
his disposal. On the nth of April, three weeks only 
before his death, he wrote again to Mr. Wickham 
in the following terms : 

"The rapid progress of my complaint has baffled 
all my calculations, and put an end to the views I 
submitted to you by a letter of the 2oth of January 
last, to which I have not received any answer. Since 
the date of that letter I have been in a constant state 
of suffering, aggravated by the cruel efforts necessary 


for completing the last number of the Mercure. At 
last I am compelled to close with the thirty-sixth 
number. My physician forbids application of any 
kind, and a total loss of strength renders such direc- 
tions superfluous. 

" I have thought it due to you, to apprise you 
of the termination of the Mercure previously to my 
announcing it publicly in my thirty-sixth number, 
which is almost entirely the work of friends. 

"Little did I anticipate this sad close of my labours 
when I came to this country under your friendly 
auspices. My career of utility is now closed, and the 
suggestions contained in my last letter to you rendered 
unavailing. I cannot contemplate without the deepest 
concern my own situation and that of my family ; left 
as I am without resources in the dearest country in 
Europe, where a long illness exhausts a small fortune ; 
in an ungenial climate, with bitter thoughts of the past, 
and unavailing anxiety for the future. No resource is 
left me but resignation and trust in God ; and to re- 
commend my children to those who, like you, have 
never ceased to give me proof of regard." 

There is every reason to believe, in spite of the 
generous provision made for his family after his death, 
that Wickham's intervention would not have availed 
to procure assistance for Mallet du Pan had he lived, 
for the moderate tone of his strictures on Bonaparte's 
early administration, and the strong sympathy of 
Grenville and Pitt with the ultra- Royalists seem to 
have indisposed them towards him. Friendly offices, 
however, were not wanting from other quarters. 

"Malouet 1 took charge of the last number of the 
Mercure : Lally lent us his country house at Rich- 
mond : kind offers poured in from all sides. Sir J. 

1 Reminiscences. 


Macpherson was, I believe, incessant in his solicitations 
with the Government, and did not neglect his private 
friends. Among those who were foremost in generous 
sympathy I must not forget Sir William Pulteney, 
who sent Sir J. Macpherson ^100, to be applied to 
my father's use, ' in the way ' (according to his 
considerate expression) ' that would be the least 
painful to his feelings '. My father likewise received 
on the occasion of his announcing the suspension of 
his work, many letters expressing the strongest sense 
of respect for his character and writings. Some other 
kindly rays came in to relieve this dark hour. Mr. 
Rose, Secretary of the Treasury, whose financial work 
I had translated the year before, most kindly gave 
me a situation of Foreign Translator or Examiner 
of Public Accounts in the Audit Office, worth ^250 
per annum ; and a few days previously to my father's 
death, Sir John Macpherson received an assurance 
from the Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr. 
Addington, that the Government intended making 
some provision for my mother. These were great 
alleviations, and afforded as much comfort to my 
father as he was then capable of receiving from 

The end can best be told in the words of Mallet du 
Pan's devoted son : 

" Count Lally's house at Richmond was situated in 
a lane leading from the church to the bridge. It was 
too small to accommodate all our family ; I therefore 
remained in town, going as often as I could to Rich- 
mond. My father was attended by Mr. Dundas, the 
King's Serjeant-Surgeon, afterwards Sir David Dun- 
das ; a man of great penetration, judgment, and skill, 
and no less distinguished by his kindness and humanity 
to the numerous French emigrant families then residing 
at Richmond. I cannot speak of his attentions to my 
father in terms of sufficient gratitude. Seeing my 


mother's spirits extremely depressed, he naturally dwelt 
on such circumstances of improvement as the change 
of air and scene had produced : my father had better 
nights and a better appetite ; he took several drives in 
Richmond Park, and walked occasionally in the garden, 
all which tended to confirm our hopes. I do not be- 
lieve, however, that he was himself deceived ; he was 
more than usually silent, and there was a look of settled 
pensiveness and deep meditation in his eye, which left 
no doubt as to the direction of his thoughts. He often 
read the Bible, and sent for some sermons of Mouchon, 
a Genevese clergyman, which had been lately published ; 
the only indications he gave by which to judge of the 
state of his mind. 

" Early in May, some of my friends (Genevese) 
having made a party to go to Henley on the Saturday 
and remain there till the Monday, they pressed me to 
accompany them. I had intended going to my family 
at Richmond on that day, but receiving a letter from 
my sister giving a more comfortable account of my 
father, I determined on joining my friends on their 
little excursion. On my return on the Monday morn- 
ing into the City, I found a few lines from my sister 
which she had sent by express, written in terms some- 
what obscure, but which gave me reason to apprehend 
the worst. My father had died in the night ! l Nothing 
in the preceding day had indicated greater weakness 
or danger, and he had retired to rest as usual ; but on 
approaching his bed at an early hour my poor mother 
found that all was over, apparently without a struggle. 

"We had in our misfortune all the comfort and 
assistance that public and private sympathy can give. 2 

1 Mallet du Pan died on the loth of May 1800, just two years 
after his arrival in England. 

2 Even an obituary notice in The Times (igth May 1800) was 
not wanting. It is of some interest as showing the position Mallet du 
Pan occupied in public estimation at the time of his death : 

" M. Mallet du Pan was interred on Thursday last at Richmond. 


Malouet and Lally took upon themselves all that our 
situation required, and they determined, somewhat con- 
trary to my own inclination, but perhaps not improperly, 
that my father should have a public funeral. At 
Geneva all funerals are public, inasmuch as the remains 
of a citizen are followed to the grave by a greater or 
less concourse of people, according to his popularity or 
claims to consideration. Friends and persons of all 
ranks join the procession without any invitation, and 
from their own impulse, as it proceeds to the place of 
burial in the vicinity of the town ; and I have seen the 
funeral of a distinguished citizen attended by hundreds 
of people. Such would have been the case with my 
father, had he lived and died in his own native place. 
Here he was known comparatively to few ; but those 
few were desirous of paying him one last public mark of 
respect. Count Lally was rather too pompous a master 
of the ceremonies for a Swiss family dependent for sup- 
port on the bounty of Government ; but his feelings and 

He died without pain or agony at the house of the Count de Lally, 
and had nigh completed the 5oth year of his age. His countenance 
was perfectly serene. For a month previous to his death, his friends 
had entertained no hopes of his recovery. The affliction of his family 
and friends was to him the most convincing sign of his approaching 

" Long before the French Revolution, M. Mallet du Pan was as 
much distinguished among political writers for the extent of his know- 
ledge and for the vigour of his understanding, as for the probity and 
independence of his character. Born of a noble family, which for 
many years has given birth to magistrates of Geneva, and to learned 
men, M. Mallet du Pan only trod in the footsteps of his ancestors by 
following the paths of literature. The principles of religion, of social 
order, of manners, of laws, of the rights of the people and of princes, 
and the history of man in general, were the subjects which most 
employed his attention, until the revolutionary tempest developed the 
whole energy and wisdom of his mind. His writings since the year 
1789 form a most valuable collection. He was not a party- writer 
neither willing to offend or flatter any one." 


manner were so warm and energetic that he had his 
own way, not only in marshalling the funeral ceremony, 
but in giving an account of it in the Courier de Londres 
somewhat highly coloured. The Prince de Poix, Lord 
Sheffield, Mr. Fagel, Greffier to the United States of 
Holland, and afterwards Minister of the Netherlands in 
this country, Mr. Trevor afterwards Lord Hampden, 
Sir John Macpherson, Mr. Whitshed Keene, Member 
for Montgomeryshire and afterwards Father of the 
House of Commons, Count Lally, and Malouet, were 
the pall-bearers ; Mr. Granville Penn, Baron Maseres, 
Mr. Ryder, Mr. Wollaston, Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Reeves, 
Mr. Bowles, Mr. John Gifford, and many other persons 

" A few days subsequently to my father's death, Mr. 
Addington communicated to Sir J. Macpherson that it 
was the intention of Government to grant a pension of 
,200 on the Civil List to my mother. The various 
deductions to which salaries and pensions on the Civil 
List are subjected, reduced the amount to about ^150 
per annum ; but even this was very considerable and 
unexpected favour, often sought in vain by persons of 
great family and connection in reduced circumstances. 
It appears by a note from Mr. Trevor to Malouet, that 
Mr. Pitt had contemplated this act of generous kind- 
ness towards my family previously to the Speaker's 
application to him ; and it is therefore probable that 
Mr. Wickham's friendly representations to Lord Gren- 
ville had not been disregarded. My situation in the 
Audit Office and my mother's pension constituted a 
very comfortable provision for us ; but my father's 
friends nevertheless wished that some public mark of 
interest should be given to our family ; and Sir Wil- 
liam Pulteney, Sir J. Macpherson, and Mr. Whitshed 
Keene set on foot a public subscription with that view, 
and they fixed 10 IDS. as the maximum to be sub- 
scribed by any one individual, by which means they 
hoped that a great number of respectable persons 


might be induced to join in this tribute of respect. 
They were not disappointed ; the subscriptions rilled 
rapidly, and soon amounted to upwards of ^1,000, of 
which the Prince of Brazil subscribed ^100. Debts 
were likewise due to my father by booksellers both in 
England and at Hamburg, in respect of the sale of the 
Mercure, and although that class of persons are among 
the worst of debtors, about ,1,200 was ultimately 
collected, which was settled on my mother, together 
with the amount of the public subscription." 

It may be added that Madame Mallet du Pan after 
a few months spent in England at Guildford and the 
neighbourhood settled in Geneva, where her daughter 
Amelie married in 1803 Dr. Jean Pierre Colladon ; the 
younger daughter, who was in delicate health, re- 
maining with her mother. She survived for sixteen 
years the husband whose adverse fortunes she had 
shared with so much courage and devotion. The elder 
son's career has been alluded to in the preface, the 
second son, Henri, a very promising young man, went 
into a business house in London, but did not long 
survive his father, for a melancholy accident caused his 
death at Geneva while on a holiday visit to his mother. 

NOTE. The following remarkable appreciation of Mallet du Pan 
by his daughter, Madame Colladon (who inherited much of his talent 
and transmitted it to her son, the late M. Eugene Colladon of 
Geneva), may be inserted in this place. It will serve as preface 
to the chapter in which I have brought together the various judg- 
ments on his character and career, and endeavoured to describe his 
place as a commentator on the Revolution : 

" Ce qui me parait le plus interessant a dire dans la vie de mon 
pere c'est de peindre le caractere moral qui accompagnait son esprit. 
II faut parler de cette independance d'opinion qui lui a suscite tant 
d'ennemis, et que tous les gens des divers partis ont si souvent et si 

1 Reminiscences. 


vainement tente d'alt6rer ; de ce courage avec lequel il brava pendant 
les annees de la Revolution les menaces, les imprecations, les ecrits 
avoues et anonymes, des ennemis de la bonne cause. J'ai vu des 
revolutionnaires venir chez lui pour le forcer a retracter tel ou tel 
article de son journal, en le mena9ant de le faire perir s'il r6sistait a 
leurs ordres, et mon pere leur repondre avec une fermete pleine de 
moderation et de noblesse, qu'on pouvait le faire assassiner, mais que 
jamais on ne 1'engagerait a desavouer les principes qu'il professait. 
On a vu un Protestant defendre de tout son talent, et avec I'ame qui 
animait ses 6crits, la Religion Catholique ; et un R6publicain defendre 
les Rois, parce que cette cause 6tait celle de la morale et de la vertu. 
Menace de toutes parts, entoure de craintes de ses amis et de sa 
famille, il est toujours reste inebranlable, et pret a payer de sa tete 
la cause qu'il soutenait. Avec la sante la plus frele, il a constam- 
ment montre une intrepidite a toute epreuve ; avec la fortune la plus 
bornee, le plus noble desinteressement ; et I'el6vation de son caractere 
n'est pas moins remarquable que ses talents. Sa simplicite et sa 
modestie etaient celles d'un philosophe. Des gens des provinces, 
des personnes de tout rang venaient lui rendre graces, le supplier 
de continuer sa dangereuse tache, et lui adresser les eloges les plus 
flatteurs, sans qu'il en prit jamais aucun amour-propre et aucune 
importance. Jusqu'a son arrivee a Paris, la vie et les ecrits de M. 
Mallet n'offrent rien de remarquable. Associe a Linguet dans la 
redaction de ses annales, on distinguait deja sans doute 1'esprit et le 
talent ; mais cet esprit et ce talent n'ont acquis toute leur force que 
par 1'interet de la cause qu'ils ont ete appeles a soutenir. Cette verve, 
cette dnergie, cette justesse d' observation, cette chaleur in6puisable, 
cette hardiesse dans 1'expression, tenaient autant a 1'ame qu'au 
talent de mon pere ; et ont affiche un cachet particulier et durable a 
des ecrits presque toujours ephemeres, et dont 1'effet disparaitrait 
d'ordinaire avec 1'evenement du jour qu'ils racontent. On a reproche 
a M. Mallet de 1'incorrection dans le style. Le reproche est fonde, 
mais il faut se souvenir qu'il etait etranger. II arriva a Paris en 
1783 avec sa femme et ses enfants, auxquels il n'alaisse pour heritage 
que son nom et la protection de ses nombreux amis. L'exterieur de 
M. Mallet etait agreable. Sa figure noble, expressive, et spirituelle, 
avail quelque chose d'important. Ses occupations et sa mauvaise 
sante rendaient sa vie sedentaire. Elle 1'eut ete par gout. Recherche 
par la meilleure societe de Paris et de Londres, il se bornait a un 


petit cercle d'amis et d'hommes de lettres qui se reunissaient chez 
lui presque tous les soirs. II avail de la gaiete dans la conversation, 
parlait avec abondance et facilite, et s'animait surtout chez les autres. 
La promenade et la musique, voila ses seules recreations au dehors ! 
Grand amateur des beautes de la Nature, il s'est promene tant que 
ses forces le lui ont permis ; et dans les derniers jours de sa vie il 
jouissait encore des belles vues de Richmond. 

"II s'est eteint sans souffrance apres une longue maladie de 
poitrine: quittant sans regret une vie troublee par des soucis, des 
inquietudes, et des orages de toute espece." 




IT is not too much to say of Mallet du Pan that at a 
period when political writing was incomparably more 
brilliant and influential than it has since become, he 
had before his death taken foremost rank among the 
opponents of the revolutionary movement. 1 Trusted 
as he had been by Louis XVI., and finally expelled 
from his native land by Napoleon, his articles and 
pamphlets had all through the Revolution been largely 
circulated in France, they had been read and translated 
in Germany and in England. He had been consulted 
by most of the leading statesmen and sovereigns of the 
Continent, and his services to the common cause had 
obtained from Pitt at least the acknowledgment of a 
pension for his widow and a place for his son. Yet his 
name sank almost at once into comparative obscurity ; 
he was ignored by all the earlier historians of the 
Revolution, by Thiers, Lamartine, Louis Blanc, Mi- 
chelet and Carlyle, and it was not until 1851 that the 
publication of his Memoirs by M. Sayous under the 

1 The opinion of the Prussian publicist Gentz is an adequate 
piece of evidence on this point. See an article in the Spectateur du 
Nord, in August 1800. There is hardly a phrase in this short but 
discriminating appreciation of Mallet du Pan which recent criticism 
has not endorsed. 


auspices of his son began the work, resumed at a 
later date by M. Taine, of making known his life and 
opinions and restoring him to his place as one of the 
three or four contemporary observers of the French 
Revolution whose writings are of capital importance 
in the history of the time. Disinterred from the dust 
of libraries and the recesses of government archives, 
they emerge to-day, to quote M. Taine's expression, 
as "strong and living as at the time they first issued 
from his hand ". " On crira 1'histoire de la Re" volu- 
tion autrement que Mallet du Pan," writes M. Valette, 
"on ne 1'ecrira plus sans lui ni contre lui." l 

The main cause of the varieties of fortune which 
the reputation of Mallet du Pan has undergone, of his 
long neglect and of the reaction in his favour, is to be 
found in a remark of his own that half a century at least 
must pass before an impartial account of the Revolution 
would be possible. The fury of revolutionary and 
anti-revolutionary partisans, which in life isolated a 
man of the moderate opinions of Mallet, long continued 
to assail his memory and prevent an appreciation of his 
superiority. Forced to fight side by side with allies 
with whose objects and hopes he was not in sympathy, 
he was, as we have seen, feared and distrusted alike by 
the Royalists to whom the Monarchies, was as odious 
as the Jacobin, and by the men of the Revolution who 
felt that he was the most dangerous because the most 
intelligent of their enemies. The success of the doc- 
trines and of the champions of the Revolution en- 
abled them from the first to monopolise the attention of 
the world ; the opposition to it was identified with the 

1 Gaspard Valette, Mallet du Pan et la Revolution Franfaise, 


cause of the adherents of absolute monarchy, and the 
enlightened Royalists shared with them the discredit 
of failure. Carlyle only expressed the general feeling 
of his own time when he wrote to Mallet's son on the 
publication of the memoirs : 

"At an early period of my studies on the French 
Revolution, I found the Royalist side of that huge 
controversy to be an almost completely mad one, 
destined, on the whole, to die for ever ; and thus, 
except where Royalists had historical facts to teach me, 
had, after a short time, rather to shun than seek 
acquaintance with them, finding in their speculative 
notions nothing but distress and weariness for me, and 
generally, instead of illumination in my researches, 
mere darkness visible. It was in this way that I had 
as good as missed Mallet du Pan, confounding him 
with the general cohue, from whom I now find he was 
widely and peculiarly distinguished, very much to his 
honour indeed. Of all writers on the Royalist side- 
indeed, I may say, on any side Mallet seems to me 
to have taken incomparably the truest view of the 
enormous phenomena he was in the midst of." 

It is, however, only in recent years that historical 
criticism has awarded their true rank among the ob- 
servers of the Revolution to the liberal or constitu- 
tional Royalists, and endorsed Carlyle's generous if 
somewhat naive recognition of Mallet du Pan as the 
best exponent of the only true and fruitful Royalism 
of the revolutionary epoch. The earlier historians 
inevitably write as partisans of the great Revolution ; 
they appeal to the feelings of a generation anxious, 
not so much to explore the deeper causes of the 
convulsion or to reason about its consequences, as to 
reconcile themselves to &fait accompli, to seek excuses 


for much that had been dishonouring to the national 
character and to human nature itself, to exalt the 
triumph of the principles which, for good or evil, had 
transformed France and Europe. To men in this 
temper Mallet du Pan seemed the advocate, power- 
ful, impassioned, perhaps bitter, of a lost cause ; they 
were unable and unwilling to examine the grounds 
of his impeachment of their cherished ideals, and to 
distinguish what was controversial in it from what was of 
enduring historical value. But the seeming uselessness 
of his labours in life and the subsequent period of 
neglect were not to be followed by permanent oblivion. 
To provide materials for history was the object which 
Mallet du Pan as journalist-observer had ever in view. 
This was the ambition which sustained him in the 
defeat of his political hopes and efforts. He was 
favoured by the character of his genius and the great- 
ness of the field for its exercise, and his object and his 
ambition have accordingly been crowned, in the opinion 
of the best authorities of a later age and wider outlook, by 
the fullest measure of success. Among the many who 
have recognised and proclaimed the significance of his at- 
titude and the importance of his work three names stand 
out, those of Sainte-Beuve, Thureau-Dangin and Taine : 
the critic so deeply versed in the history and literature 
of France, the historian of parties under the Restora- 
tion, and the great thinker who studied the body politic 
in the spirit of the physiologist. The memory of Mallet 
du Pan owes everything to the appreciation of such 
writers as these ; l but the thoroughness and insight of 

1 No better, no more complete or more discriminating account 
of Mallet's commentators is to be found than that contained in M. 
Gaspard Valette's monograph. 


his own work are such that historians can do little but 
repeat his judgments on the causes which created and 
prolonged the convulsion, his analysis of the Jacobin 
dogma and its results, his criticism of the fatal inepti- 
tude of the Royalist chiefs and their European allies. 
These judgments, this analysis, this criticism remain 
an integral part of the history of the time ; they have 
almost become its commonplaces. 

A subsidiary but hardly less powerful cause of the 
oblivion in which the name of Mallet du Pan so long 
remained was the fugitive form in which his writings 
appeared. His most valuable work is contained in 
newspapers, of which probably not half a dozen files 
now exist ; in pamphlets, almost equally difficult to 
procure ; and in diplomatic reports, which, until the 
publication of the Vienna correspondence, remained 
buried in government archives. And although the 
substance of his work has now become known, the 
growth of Mallet's reputation in France has perhaps 
been hindered by the circumstance that though he 
wrote in French, and therefore appeals primarily to 
a French public, he was not a Frenchman, and was 
markedly wanting in sympathy with French ideas on 
government, religion and philosophy. 

The Revolution ended by throwing him into a posi- 
tion of political antagonism to France, and its excesses 
betrayed him into expressing his opinion of the national 
character in harsh and unjust terms. National as well 
as merely political prejudice may therefore be account- 
able for the fact that while the periodical writings of 
Rivarol, of Camille Desmoulins, and others have been 
collected and published, nothing of the kind has been 
attempted in the case of Mallet du Pan. Yet nothing 



would be easier than to put together from his scattered 
writings a volume which would form a most valuable 
historical commentary on the whole course of the 

To M. Taine of course is due in these later years 
a second revival of interest in the position and writings 
of Mallet du Pan. In his great work on the Revolution 
the historian quoted and extolled him as the " most 
competent, the most judicious, the most profound ob- 
server of the Revolution," and he followed this up by 
a remarkable preface to the Vienna correspondence 
(1884), in which he expressed his unbounded admira- 
tion for Mallet du Pan, an admiration born of sympathy 
no less with the writer's methods than with his opinions. 
Again he placed Mallet du Pan in the forefront. " Four 
observers," he wrote, " understood from the beginning 
the character and bearing of the. French Revolution, 
Rivarol, Malouet, Gouverneur Morris and Mallet du 
Pan, the last named more profoundly than the rest." 
Taine's glowing and eloquent eulogies, though they 
have excited a good deal of passionate controversy, 
have apparently fixed the position of the publicist, and 
must form the basis of any account of his qualifications 
as a contemporary historian of the great events of 
which he was the witness. 

He has often been described as a political philo- 
sopher, but his earliest commentator, Gentz, justly 
remarked that he had but little inclination towards 
profound or systematic philosophic study. The philo- 
sophic doctrines which enslaved his contemporaries 
and which had such momentous political results never 
obtained any serious hold on his mind. He belonged, as 
his biographer, Sayous, has pointed out, to the Genevese 


school of "precise observation guided by moral sense". 
It was the positive side of political science which chiefly 
interested him ; economics, and above all history in 
all its aspects, attracted him from the first ; and his 
writings abound in historical sketches, allusions and 
parallels. He contemplated at one time an historical 
work on the causes which led to the French Revolu- 
tion, and had collected materials for it which were lost 
when his property was seized in Paris ; and a few 
years later Necker told him that he considered him 
marked out by his age and his talents to write a 
complete history of the whole memorable epoch. The 
rush of events, the want of leisure, and a premature 
death made any such task impossible ; but the life- 
long habit of carefully verifying facts and of organising 
and sifting sources of intelligence gave a quite unusual 
value to his journalistic work, and was one of the 
secrets of his usefulness as a political adviser. He had 
all the gifts which might have made him a remarkable 
historian ; they fitted him equally for the occupation 
which fell to his lot, that of describing and commenting 
on contemporary politics, ' I'histoire a la main '. 

Another marked advantage enjoyed by him in 
this capacity was the independence of his position and 
of his character. He was not a Frenchman he was 
born a republican it was not therefore by royalist 
sentiment that he was led to support the French 
Monarchy. A Genevese Protestant of Huguenot 
descent could not be influenced by religious passion 
in his defence of the Catholic clergy and the old 
ecclesiastical establishments of Europe. Official ties 
were not likely to hamper a journalist whose connec- 
tion with the ministerial system of France had been 


confined to transactions with the censors of the Paris 
press ; and the obligations of party can hardly be 
said to have existed for one who was a centre of 
attack from all the extreme factions to which France 
and Europe were then a prey. His citizenship of a 
small neutral State, his knowledge of the principal 
countries of Europe, his open and liberal mind which 
had assimilated what was best in the prevailing political 
philosophy of the time, its cosmopolitan spirit, helped to 
make him a no less capable and impartial observer of 
the other European States than he was of France. 

Nor was his judgment ever disturbed by the prompt- 
ings of self-interest. Forced to rely on his own exer- 
tions for the support of his family, and for what appealed 
even more strongly to him, the freedom to speak his 
mind on questions of public interest, he was never 
tempted to compromise his own opinion for the sake of 
personal advantage. He was probably a unique example 
in an age of press corruption of a journalist who never 
accepted a pension or a gift, or yielded to intimidation. 
''Louis XVI? he once proudly said, 'mhonora de sa con- 
fiance sansjamais m^honorer de ses bienf aits' We know 
at what a cost and with what splendid moral courage 
he vindicated his right to the title of Royalist during the 
first three years of the Revolution, and with what haughty 
independence the " Citizen of Geneva " spoke when 
necessary in later years to Ministers and Monarchs 
alike. He did not hesitate to alienate the sympathy 
and patronage of Louis XVIII. by the rough frankness 
with which, in response to the royal advances, he con- 
demned the declaration of the Prince at his nominal 
accession to the throne, and earned Sainte-Beuve's 
designation of the 'paysan du Danube de I' emigration' 


It would be impossible to find in his whole career 
an instance of a demand for a favour or for assist- 
ance save in his pathetic death - bed appeal to 
Wickham. His courageous independence was the 
quality most insisted on by his daughter in her account 
of his character, it was undoubtedly the great source 
of his moral power, and it was allied to other fine 
qualities, as well as to some defects, which are trace- 
able to his Huguenot and Calvinist ancestry and to 
his citizenship of Geneva. His tenacity and com- 
bativeness in matters of opinion, his absorption in 
politics and his mastery of the whole armoury of 
political argument, his uncompromising adherence to 
standards of right and wrong in public and private 
life, are distinctively Genevese characteristics ; as also 
are the want of pliancy, of geniality and of humour 
except of a rather sardonic kind, which no doubt 
diminished his influence in some of the circumstances 
of his life. It would, however, be a complete mistake 
to picture him as naturally of a gloomy or pessimistic 
disposition, or even as soured by political disappoint- 
ments and private anxieties. His daughter's account 
reveals his enjoyment of congenial society and of his 
home life, and his letters show the footing of pleasant 
and affectionate intimacy on which he stood with a 
large circle of friends. 

Qualities such as these, even combined as they 
were in his case with singular advantages of oppor- 
tunity and training, are not in themselves sufficient 
to make a man's work live. Mallet du Pan has 
survived because he possessed a high degree of 
political capacity. In the concluding portion of the 
letter quoted above, Carlyle testified to the 


"rare sagacity with which Mallet judged the enor- 
mous phenomena he was in the midst of. Almost 
from the first he sees, if not across and through it, 
as I might say, yet steadily into the centre of it, and 
refuses to be bewildered, as others are, by what is 
of the superficies merely. This which, at fifty years' 
distance from the phenomena, were still a proof of 
some clearness of vision, amounted in Mallet's case to 
nearly the highest proof that can be given of that noble 
quality, and, we may say, of many other noble qualities 
which are indissolubly of kin to that. On the whole," 
he continues, " I have learned very much to respect 
your brave father from this book. A fine, robust, clear, 
and manful intellect was in him, all directed towards 
practical solidities, and none of it playing truant in the 
air ; a quiet valour that defies all fortune and he had 
some rather ugly fortune to defy everywhere integ- 
rity, simplicity, and in that wild element of journalism, 
too, with its sad etceteras, the ' assurance of a man '. 
What still more attracts me to him, I feel that his excel- 
lences are not such as appeal to the vulgar, but only to 
the wiser ; his style, for example, is not what is called 
poetic, but it is full of rough idiomatic vigour and 
conveys a true meaning to you, stamped coin ; so of 
his conduct too, this is not drugged liquor, mock cham- 
pagne, or other pleasant poisonous stufif, this is cool 
crystal water from the everlasting well : this will hurt 
nobody that drinks of it." 

Taine insists again and again on his competence as 
a statesman, the competence which comes by nature ; 
the imagination and tact which, combined with know- 
ledge, go to make up the political faculty. His power 
of observation he compares to that of the physician ; 
his work was a " monograph of the revolutionary 
fever," his analysis of public opinion was a "moral 
dissection". His judgments upon assemblies, parties 


and groups, upon nobles, migrs and clergy, "royalists 
in France and royalists in emigration, Parisians or 
provincials, administrators of the Constituent Assembly, 
proconsuls of the Convention, functionaries of the Direc- 
tory, men of the Terror, of Thermidor, of Vende"miaire, 
Feuillants, Girondists and Jacobins," are described by 
Taine as exact and penetrating. " No one except 
Burke has so perfectly comprehended the Jacobins, 
their fanaticism, their sectarian instincts and methods, 
the logic of their dogmas, their ascendency over the 
illiterate or half-educated, the might and maleficence 
of their dreams, their aptitude for destruction, their 
incapacity for construction, and their appeal to the 
passions of murder and dissolution." 

Mallet's contemporary, Gentz, is hardly less em- 
phatic on the point when he speaks of " the sane 
appreciation of the real value of political methods and 
systems, the firmness and certainty of judgment which 
distinguished in an instant truth from illusion, and 
measures which were practicable from those which 
were chimerical ". 

It was not indeed the lot of Mallet du Pan to 
show this competence as a minister or man of action. 
He showed it, however, as no other observer had 
the opportunity of doing, week by week and month 
by month, in his analyses and predictions throughout 
the course of the Revolution, " analyses," says Taine, 
" always exact, predictions almost always true". Sainte- 
Beuve makes the same comment. "In the difficult 
business of seizing upon and comprehending in a 
moment the stormy and complicated events which 
unfolded and crowded themselves upon him no one 
is more often right, pen in hand, than he ; " and he 


sums him up as an ' Esprit fort et sensJ, ires clair- 
voyant et tres prdvoyant '. 

Clearness of vision, then, Mallet du Pan possessed 
by the common consent of all his commentators in an 
eminent degree. But this rarest of political gifts would 
hardly have served his reputation with posterity if he 
had not also possessed the gift of style. With the 
exception of M. Taine, his French critics, if an Eng- 
lish writer may venture to express an opinion, hardly 
do justice to the power of the weapon which gave him 
his immense renown with his contemporaries, which 
made him so useful to his friends and so dreaded by 
his opponents. Sainte-Beuve himself, while paying 
tribute to the strength and rugged energy of his writ- 
ing, denies him grace, brilliancy, ease ; and others are 
naturally struck by the want of correctness, of tenue, of 
polish, by the absence of conscious art, by the brusque 
homeliness of some of his phrases, the over- vehement 
expression of some of his rebukes. All this was the 
reflection of the writer's own nature, his combativeness, 
his absorption in his ideas, in the presentation of the 
truth as he saw it, his contempt for ' F&crivaillerie ' as a 
profession. In his case the style was indeed the man. 
Reflection, liberty and conviction gave the tone of 
manly reason, of strong intelligence, which appear in 
every line he wrote. The follies and crimes of the 
Revolution revolted his moral sense and stirred the 
fiery indignation with which he lashed them. Mallet's 
contemporaries, to whom his best writings were acces- 
sible and familiar, recognised these essential qualities 
of his style. De Pradt, no mean judge of polemical 
writing, classes him as one of the four great writers 
produced by the Revolution, the others being Madame 

STYLE 345 

de Stael, Burke, and Rivarol (in his Journal politique 
national). Gentz speaks of the abundance and energy 
of his expression ; his satire and his eloquence. Elo- 
quence, indeed, says Taine in one of his most brilliant 
pages, he had, if no other of the writer's gifts, eloquence 
which was the outcome of a belief in the justice of his 
cause, fortified by proofs which filled his mind and 
heart to overflowing. The reader is carried along by 
a ' courant intarissable de logique et de passion] by 
picturesque expressions, by striking images, by rapid 
generalisations, by arguments and proofs, " marshalled 
and launched like an assaulting column," by an ora- 
torical compass "which Mirabeau never equalled and 
which Burke has not surpassed". 1 

With such a temperament and with the experience 
he had gained before the Revolution, Mallet du Pan 
may be said to have approached its consideration with 
an open mind, though moderation, in the sense of 
opportunism, played little part in his essentially strong 
and decided character. It is true that he had long 
formed his opinion on the philosophic ideas which 
were to inspire the Revolution ; that he had been 
deeply impressed by their disastrous effects in Geneva 
and Holland ; and that arbitrary and violent action 
of every kind were abhorrent to a mind which instinc- 
tively clung to order, morality and proportion in all 
social relations. It is easy to see, therefore, that the 
bias of his intellect would lead him to distrust the 
course which the Revolution would take. But no 
one who has followed the course of his opinions will 

1 1 may refer to Madame Colladon's short characterisation of her 
father's style, see p. 331. I know of nothing better. 


have failed to observe that he looked on the objects 
and opening stages of the Revolution with sympathy, 
and that it was no conservative or aristocratic pre- 
judice but actual experience of men and measures 
which step by step forced him into pronounced 
opposition. For so indeed it happened as the pro- 
gress of events disappointed the hopes and justified 
the fears with which he watched the opening scenes ; 
until the growing contrast between pompous pro- 
fessions of the principles of liberty, legality and philan- 
thropy, and the reality of oppression and intolerance ; 
between extravagant promises of regeneration and 
the disorganisation and distress which were their 
only fruit, became the constant theme of his indignant 
censure. But what called forth Mallet du Pan's 
fullest talents as a writer was the crystallisation of the 
principles of the Revolution into a dogmatic political 
system, deduced from a fictitious social contract, and 
based on the omnipotence of the State, on the sacrifice 
of the individual, on the equalisation of fortunes and 
conditions and on the proscription of revealed religion. 
The Jacobins, said Samuel Taylor Coleridge, " played 
the whole game of religion and moral and domestic 
happiness into the hands of the aristocrats," and to 
describe opposition to their doctrines as reactionary and 
aristocratic is merely to adopt their favourite device 
for ensuring their own ascendency. The opposition 
of Mallet du Pan at all events cannot be so easily dis- 
missed. It is unnecessary to remind the reader of his 
opinion of the ancien regime, or of the blessings which 
constitutional freedom were capable of conferring upon 
a nation. He had continually in his mind, as his writ- 
ings show, the condition, the welfare, the legitimate 


aspirations of the body of the people. He had been 
bred a republican, and he believed in representative 
though not necessarily in republican government, he 
had given much attention to the sufferings of the poor 
in France and in Paris before the Revolution, and 
throughout its course he never ceased to study the 
temper and prejudices of the mass of the French 
population, and to base his recommendations to the 
leaders of the emigration on the knowledge derived 
from this study. Even in his appeals to the national 
spirit of Europe against Jacobin aggression he rested 
his hopes, as his son remarks, exclusively on the people, 
and he shows the meanest opinion of the privileged 
classes in the old States of the Continent. Taine indeed 
goes so far as to say of Mallet du Pan that " by principle, 
reflection and disposition, he was a Liberal ". Not, 
indeed, in the sense in which the term " liberalism " is 
oftener used than in any other, namely, to signify the 
mere disposition to make concession to popular de- 
mands, but in a sense at least as full as that of his own 
fine definition. " Liberalism," says the historian, 
"means respect for others. Each person should be 
respected by the State and by his neighbours ; the 
individual, like the community, should have his own 
domain, bounded, assured, fixed by law and custom. 
Whoever penetrates into the inviolable precinct which 
encloses his person, his property, his conscience, his 
beliefs, his opinions, his home, his private life and his 
domestic duties, is an intruder ; if the State exists it is 
to prevent intrusion ; if it itself intrudes it becomes the 
worst of offenders." The whole conception is the very 
antithesis of the equalitarian and anti-Christian social- 
ism of the revolutionary movement, his opposition to 


which accordingly drove Mallet du Pan, Republican 
and Protestant as he was, into ardent championship of 
a Royal house and a Roman clergy, and cost him 
in Paris all but his life and, with his expulsion from 
Switzerland, his native land. It was in the spirit 
described by Taine that he rejoiced to find in England 
a refuge which delivered him at least from the 'tourment 
du silence' ' ; 'un port ou je puis accuser sans les craindre 
des tyrans en de"mence /' It was this temper which he 
brought to the great work of his life ; the ten years' 
analysis of the revolutionary fever, the dissection of the 
spirit of Jacobinism, which to this day retains all its 
truth, its far-seeing sagacity, its moral significance. 

Mallet's "liberalism," to use a term with too many 
nineteenth century associations to be altogether satis- 
factory, was shown at least as strongly in his attitude 
towards the action of the Royalist party (to which Taine 
makes no allusion), as in his opposition to the Jacobins. 
The part he played in the councils of the emigration 
is the most important feature of the later years of his 
life and, together with his attitude on the question of 
the war, must be specially noticed in any account of his 
opinions. On the latter point Mallet du Pan has been 
fiercely attacked by the revolutionary writers. He is 
charged with having counselled and fomented the war, 
and his position as an adviser " in the pay " of the allied 
courts has laid him open to misrepresentation of a kind 
which earlier chapters * dealing with his attitude on all 
the phases of the struggle will have shown to be not 
only unfounded but dishonest. It would be far more 
accurate to say that he stood almost alone in denounc- 

1 See especially pp. 243-248. 


ing the disastrous folly of the war as carried on by 
the allies, than to picture him as hounding them on 
to destroy the principles of the Revolution. Very 
different was the policy of the author of the phrase 
'Jamais des canons ne tuerent des sentiments'. He 
was never tired of preaching that a wise conservatism 
would appeal to the passive but order-loving masses 
of the French people by offering them, as Bonaparte 
finally did, a practical alternative to the savage 
anarchy of Jacobin rule which subsisted only on the 
dread, fostered alike by revolutionary and counter- 
revolutionary bigots, of a return to the ancien 
regime. But he early realised the extraordinary 
nature of the struggle against a power which had 
solemnly proclaimed its intention to overturn existing 
constitutions and to carry the principles of systematised 
anarchy through the length and breadth of Europe. 
He clearly perceived the extent of the danger which 
threatened the allies, owing largely to their own selfish 
weakness and blind violence ; and he anxiously laboured 
to bring about such a combination of public spirit and 
well-directed effort among Continental States against 
the French Republic as that which was afterwards called 
into being by Napoleon's dream of universal empire. 
It would be useless to deny that as the character of the 
war changed in the sense indicated, and as Mallet 
was forced to witness the destruction of the smaller 
States whose liberty and independence was so dear 
to his heart, his attitude became one of increasingly 
implacable hostility to the Revolution and all its 
works. Some colour is therefore given to the ac- 
cusations which have been brought against him. It 
is certain, however, that such criticism, in so far as 


it did not come from avowed partisans of revolutionary 
methods, proceeded largely from the attitude of mind, 
a mixture of lassitude and want of perception, which 
characterised some of Mallet's constitutionalist friends 
in England and which later inspired the temporising and 
ill-informed policy of Grey and a small body of Parlia- 
mentary Whigs during the life and death struggle 
with Napoleon. Mallet du Pan indeed had little 
more toleration than Burke for the " moderation which 
made excuses for error and abjured its own cause in 
order to conciliate opponents ". 

A more serious criticism than that which attacks 
Mallet du Pan's moderation on the question of the 
war is that which challenges his foresight. Political 
foresight is a higher gift than the guesswork which so 
often goes by that name. Yet a just appreciation of the 
possibilities of the future is a quality to which posterity 
at any rate attaches great importance, and Sainte-Beuve 
observed that Mallet in his previsions was "as rarely as 
possible in such a mHee wrong". With Burke, with 
Morris, 1 with Catherine of Russia (' Oh, Ctsar viendra, 
rien doutez pas'), with all competent observers, he early 
saw that the Revolution would run its course through 
anarchy to despotism ; it would not be difficult to show 
from his writings that he foretold every form which it 
would take, including, as Sainte-Beuve remarks, the 
Monarchy of July ; 2 and the restoration with which it 

1 '"' An American nourished in the bosom of liberty cannot but be 
deeply affected to see that in almost any event the struggle must 
terminate in despotism" (Gouverneur Morris, August 1792). 

2 The name of the Due d'Orleans, afterwards Louis Philippe, 
recurs several times in Mallet's Correspondence. As early as 1796 
he had observed the excellent qualities of the young prince and the 


closed was an almost literal fulfilment of his hopes and 
predictions for France. 

The biographer of Rivarol, indeed, while placing 
Mallet du Pan in the front rank of political philosophers, 
has described him as inferior to the subject of his memoir 
in practical sagacity, in the prognostication of coming 
events. Rivarol, he says, saw that the Revolution, be- 
gun by excess of liberty, would end in excess of tyranny. 
But generalisations of this kind, and advice such as 
that Rivarol gave in 1792 to Louis XVI., ' sil veut 
rdgner il est temps quit fasse le roi,' are not practical 
politics. Mallet's writings abound in similar remarks 
given in even more vigorous if less classical language, 
but he did not, like Rivarol, confine himself to making 
phrases and delighting society with his epigrams. 
Mallet du Pan and Joseph de Maistre, again observes 
M. de Lescure, both believed that the Revolution 
would end in a restoration a restoration, according to 
the Savoyard prophet, to be in some way an open 
manifestation of the will of God; according "to the 
Genevese philosopher, the fruit of a war without selfish 
ambition or too crushing defeats, the disinterested 
triumph of a European police coinciding with a re- 
action of disillusion and repentance of a whole people ". 

Both Mallet du Pan and De Maistre were un- 
doubtedly right, as the event proved, in the belief they 

number of his partisans, and had speculated on the possibility of his 
proving acceptable to the mass of Frenchmen alienated by the 
blunders and prejudices of the elder branch. In 1800 he writes of 
the immense impression made by the Prince in London on English 
and French alike. ' ' II est difficile d'avoir 1'esprit plus juste, plus forme, 
plus eclaire, de mieux parler, de montrer plus de sens, de connais- 
sances, une politesse plus attirante et plus simple. Oh, celui-la a su 
mettre a profit 1'adversite*." 


are thus taunted with holding ; though the latter words 
are a parody of the views of one who as early as 1795 
prophesied, as Mallet did, that the monarchy would 
only reappear on the wreck of a military dictatorship. 
M. Descostes, an admirer rather than a critic of Mallet 
du Pan, points to a passage in De Maistre's Con- 
sidtrations sur la France, in which that writer of 
genius foreshadows the restoration of Louis XVIII. 
as a providential saviour who, once on the throne, 
would tear up his old programme and think only of 
pardon, reconciliation and healing ; and he asks how 
Mallet, with merely human powers of observation, 
could have been expected to divine, in the exile of 
Verona, the King of the Charter of 1 8 1 4. The question 
embodies a criticism not uncommon in the comparison 
of the two writers, and one which, while indicating the 
distinction between them, hardly does justice to Mallet 
du Pan. He, indeed, was not consoled or misled by 
any belief in the divine right of kings, in a monarch 
who was to execute the designs of God for the punish- 
ment and protection of France. He merely strove 
with the pertinacity which belonged to him for the 
establishment of a form of government which was well 
within the region of possibility, if not in July 1789 at 
all events in 1795, and which was to take place in 1814 
in far less favourable circumstances, not as De Maistre 
prophesied " without effort and as if by enchantment/' 
but imposed by the victorious armies of Europe upon 
an exhausted nation. 

The whole controversy, however, is a somewhat 
barren one. Keen fighter as Mallet was, he was 
often premature in his anticipations thrown out in the 
heat of the conflict, but his real crime in the eyes of 


his French critics is that he refused to be beguiled by 
the success and glory of the French arms into losing 
sight of the principles upon which free and settled 
government could alone be established in France. 
His business, as he conceived it, was to study the facts 
of the political situation, to observe events and tend- 
encies, and to form his opinion and give his advice 
accordingly. It was not, as might be imagined from 
the tone of some eulogies and criticisms, to sit in his 
armchair and make prophecies. His reputation must 
rest on the general truth and penetration of his analysis, 
and not on the literal exactness or the reverse of some 
of his incidental predictions. He made no claim to be 
considered a "political philosopher," nor did he often 
venture on dogmatic prediction. Even on the question 
with which his hopes were bound up, the possibility 
of the application of the principles of constitutional 
freedom to a country of whose people he said, not long 
before his death, that "liberty was ever unintelligible 
to them," he wrote with the diffidence born of insight 
and knowledge. He spoke for instance of the "skill 
and good fortune which would be required to har- 
monise ancient prejudices with modern, interests which 
preceded with those which had followed the Revolu- 
tion ; a fragile but desirable alliance against which the 
memories of absolute monarchy on the one hand, and 
revolutionary independence on the other, will wage 
unending war". These words exactly describe the 
struggles which followed the establishment of constitu- 
tional Monarchy in France. Their author, had he sur- 
vived, would certainly have found a congenial task in 
supporting the genuine attempt to reconcile old and new, 
to bridge over the gulf dug between classes by the 



Revolution, which was made during that most brilliant 
period of Parliamentary effort and oratory ; he would 
have fought side by side with de Serre, de Villele, de 
Montignac, and Royer-Collard. But it may be doubted 
whether he would have felt any great confidence in the 
success of the experiment. It is difficult to believe that 
the result would not have been different if the attempt 
could have been made before prejudice and distrust had 
taken so deep a root, before the nation had become 
"gangrened with Revolution and with Ca^sarism," if the 
Royalism of 1795 had been such as Mallet had coun- 
selled, if the Declaration of Verona had been inspired 
by the spirit of the Charter of 1814, if Louis XVIII. 
and the authorised chiefs of the Emigration had learnt 
their lesson twenty years sooner than they did. 

Criticism of Mallet du Pan, then, to be effective 
must involve condemnation of his whole attitude to- 
wards the Revolution, and it may be admitted that to 
appreciate justly the point of view of an opponent 
however enlightened of the revolutionary movement 
is not altogether easy for a modern writer. He lives 
in a world transformed, as he necessarily feels for 
good, by the great convulsion of a century ago, a 
world which has assimilated something that was 
possible out of an impossible programme, and which 
has gained equality of civil and political rights while 
rejecting social equality ; a world which, while it has 
not attained the revolutionary ideal described by Mallet 
du Pan as " unchangeable perfection, universal brother- 
hood, ability to acquire everything that is wanting to 
compose man's life entirely of enjoyment and pos- 
session," has implanted an aspiration for equal social 
opportunity which must have tremendous consequences 


for the future of European civilisation. Influenced con- 
sciously or unconsciously by some such perception as 
this, the man of to-day feels that those who persisted 
in opposing the Revolution, that " mighty current in 
human affairs," were rather "perverse and obstinate" 
than " resolute and firm ". He finds it less difficult 
to sympathise with the humanity of a Rousseau or 
even with the mysticism of a De Maistre than with 
the reason and commonsense of Mallet du Pan, in- 
spired though he was with the fire and eloquence of 
intense conviction. Yet the latter is really much more 
modern in his practical political ideas, in his modes of 
thought and even of expression, than the extremists on 
either side. It is hardly to be doubted that men as 
sagacious and as well versed in history and politics 
as Mallet du Pan and Malouet, if placed in similar 
circumstances to-day, would act as they did. The op- 
position, indeed, of enlightened and disinterested men 
to the anti-liberal and anti-social developments of the 
Revolution was perhaps inevitably unsuccessful, but it 
does not require apology. It is legitimate to regret that 
the teachings of Montesquieu rather than the dreams 
of Rousseau did not inspire the leaders of the revolu- 
tionary movement and to desire that the advantages 
of the Revolution should have been gained without its 
violence and horrors ; for France might then have re- 
mained socially and politically united and Europe might 
have profited by her example without being devastated 
of her arms. Such at all events was the ideal for which 
Mallet du Pan constantly strove, an ideal which may be 
expected to appeal with special force to Englishmen of 
whose national character and institutions he was the life- 
long student and admirer. For the England from which 


he drew his inspiration knew how to reconcile constant 
progress in popular methods of government with the 
maintenance of constitutional forms and the authority 
which [goes with them ; and the words in which Burke 
summed up the political genius of his countrymen 
"the only liberty I mean is the liberty connected with 
order " give the keynote of the opinions of Mallet du 
Pan and find an echo in every page of his writings. 



[Part of an article in the Mercure Britannique 
(No. 13, 2ist February 1799), entitled " Du degre" 
d'influence qu'a eu la philosophic FranQaise sur la 
Revolution ".] 

Parmi les questions oiseuses qui occupant les cercles, on a 
souvent agite celle de savoir lequel de ces deux ecrivains avait le 
plus contribue a depraver la raison des Fran9ais, et a les diriger 
vers la Revolution. 

Un de mes plus respectables compatriotes, dont 1'autorite 
deciderait seule mon opinion, M. De Luc, n'hesite pas a prononcer 
centre Rousseau: depuis longtemps je partage ce sentiment. 

Sans me permettre un episode pour le justifier, j'observerai 
que Voltaire, plus goguenard que raisonneur, plus satirique que 
vehement, repoussait par son cynisme, et refroidissait par son 
rabachage. Parlant a 1'esprit plus qu'au sentiment et a 1'imagi- 
nation, trop superficiel pour les hommes instruits, trop scandaleux 
pour les hommes un peu scrupuleux, toujours prohibe, vendu 
clandestinement, et peu lu des classes intermediates et popu- 
laires, il vit son influence circonscrite dans ce qu'on nommait la 
bonne compagnie, and dans quelques corps litteraires. II avait 
compte sur 1'empire du ridicule et de 1'esprit pour conquerir 
la vanite, les pretentions, et 1'immoralite. Ses enthousiastes 
etaient un Comte d'Argental, un Thibouville, un Vilette, un 
d'Argence ; il n'y a pas jusqu'a Madame Dubarri dont il n'eut 
ambitionne et espere la conversion. II attachait peu d'impor- 
tance aux suffrages plebeiens, et ne se flatta jamais d'obtenir 
celui des hommes de moaurs sages et severes. Dans le nombre 
des incredules qu'il a formes, on pourrait compter presque autant 
de personnes corrompues, ou d'une reputation morale entachee. 


Rousseau, au contraire, a egare 1'honnetete meme : jusqu'a ses 
doutes persuadaient ses lecteurs de sa sincerity ; en ecrivant avec 
gravite, il fixait 1'attention ; en 6crivant avec eloquence, il entrai- 
nait la raison et la sensibilite. II a eu cent fois plus de lecteurs 
que Voltaire dans les conditions mitoyennes et inferieures de 
la societ6. Enfin, Rousseau a imprime la secousse decisive a 
1'opinion, par ses principes de droit politique. Son independance 
ombrageuse, la misere et le vagabondage dans lesquels il avait 
passe sa jeunesse, son aversion pour toute espece de superiorite 
civile, dicterent toutes ses theories. II a ressuscite des Levellers 
et des Anabaptistes le dogme de I'egalit6 ; sa haine pour la dis- 
tinction des rangs perce dans chacun de ses ouvrages. Personne 
n'a plus ouvertement attaque le droit de propriete en le declarant 
une usurpation. II detestait la Monarchic ; il voyait la tyrannic 
jusques dans les Republiques constitutes sur des balances de 
pouvoir; il s'est elev6 centre les Gouvernemens mixtes, avec 
autant d'aigreur qu'il attaquait les Gouvernemens absolus. C'est 
lui seul qui a inocule chez les Fran9ais la doctrine de la souve- 
rainete du Peuple, et de ses consequences les plus extremes. J'ai 
entendu, en 1788, Marat lire et commenter le Contrat social dans 
les promenades publiques, aux applaudissements d'un auditoire 
enthousiaste. J'aurais peine a citer un seul Revolutionnaire quijne 
fut transporte de ces theoremes anarchiques, et qui ne brulat du 
desir de les realiser. Ce Contrat social qui dissout la societe, fut 
le Coran des discoureurs appretes de 1789, des Jacobins de 1790, 
des Republicans de 1791 et des forcenes les plus atroces. Les 
dissertations de Babeuf sont autant d'analyses de Rousseau et 
d'applications de sa doctrine. Le seul publiciste d'une grande et 
legitime renommee que posseda la France, Montesquieu fut eclipse 
par 1'etoile de Rousseau, dont les disciples discrediterent I'Esprit 
des Lois, pour faire triompher les funestes billevesees du Contrat 

Par une singularite frappante, il est done arrive que le plus 
iso!6 des ecrivains, qu'un malheureux Stranger dans la retraite, 
sans partis, sans connexions de son vivant, ayant pour ennemis 
la pluralite des Philosophes de Paris, est devenu le prophete de la 
France Revolutionnaire ; cette remarque le disculpe du moins 
d'avoir conjure avec personne le bouleversement dont 1'Europe est 
la victime, et de 1'avoir prepar6 intentionnellement. 


Voltaire, au contraire, pr6medita, poursuivit, et gouverna avec 
methode, le projet de subvertir le Christianisme. II forma dans 
les lettres cet esprit de secte et d'enrolement, qui rendit les 
philosophes puissance organisee, qui leur rallia la jeunesse, et qui 
concourut a enfanter les rassemblemens, convertis, depuis, en 
arsenaux revolutionnaires. 

Mais, nous le repetons ; nul concert anterieur de doctrine ou 
de mesures, nulle intelligence commune, nul vceu uniforme dans 
la generalite des gens de lettres fle'tris du sobriquet de philosophe, 
ne prece"derent ce monstrueux assemblage d'evenements imprevus 
et au-dessus de toute prevoyance, qui ont plonge la France dans 
la barbarie. 

Mably, dont les declamations republicaines ont enivre beaucoup 
de modernes democrates, Mably frondeur brutal et excessif, 6tait 
religieux jusqu'a 1'austerite ; au premier coup de tocsin contre 
l'6glise Romaine, il cut jete ses livres au feu, excepte ses san- 
glantes apostrophes a Voltaire et aux Athees. 

Marmontel, Saint-Lambert, Morellet, encyclopedistes, ont ete 
les adversaires de la Revolution. L'Abbe Raynal accourut de 
Marseille, exposant son repos et sa vie, pour en montrer la turpitude 
et le delire a ses fondateurs tout-puissants. Tel qui, six mois 
auparavant, citait avec transport une de ses tirades aux bandits 
du Palais Royal, opina a le suspendre a la lanterne. 

Diderot et Condorcet, voila les veritables Chefs de 1'ecole 
revolutionnaire. Le premier avait saisi dans toute sa plenitude 
le systeme d'enormites qui a fait le destin de la France : Diderot 
cut proclame 1'egalite avant Marat, les droits de 1'homme avant 
Sieyes, la sainte insurrection avant Mirabeau et La Fayette, le 
massacre des Pretres avant les Septembristes. II fut 1'auteur de 
la plupart de ces diatribes incendiaires, intercallees dans I'Histoire 
Philosophique des deux Indes, qui deshonorent cet ouvrage, et 
que Raynal, sur la fin de ses jours, avait proscrit avec horreur 
d'une nouvelle edition qu'il preparait. 1 Qui a entendu Diderot 

1 Ces morceaux postiches sont faciles a distinguer par le style, 
et par leur virulence. J'en ai vu I'e'tat et le prix entre les mains 
de M. D., ancien Receveur des Finances, qui conclut le marche 
entre Raynal et Diderot. Ce dernier recut de son confrere 10 mille 
livres tournois pour ces amplifications convulsives, qui sont une 
preface du code reVolutionnaire. 


converser sur les Gouvernements, sur la Religion et sur l'6glise, 
n'a rien eu a apprendre de la Revolution. Lorsque les economistes 
vinrent a leur tour gouverner 1'Etat avec leurs logogriphes, leur 
impot unique, leur despotisme legal, etc., Diderot, se moquant de 
leurs reformes, les comparait a des mddecins qui travaillaient sur 
un cadavre. Ce cadavre etait la Monarchic Frangaise. 

Tous les lettres frenetiques qui, la plume a la main, ont depuis 
1788 pousse le char sanglant de 1'anarchie et de 1'atheisme, Cham- 
fort, Grouvelle, Garat, Cerutti, et cent autres plus obscurs, furent 
engendres par Diderot, perfectionnes par Condorcet. Us decrierent 
et diffamerent les savants plus moderes qui, epris des nouveautes 
avant 1789, reculerent d'effroi devant les premiers crimes des 
Novateurs. C'est done une meprise d'attribuer a 1'universalite 
des Philosophes, 1'universalite des complots, des maximes et des 
forfaits qui ont envahi la France depuis dix ans. 

Mais le reproche dont on ne saurait les laver, c'est d'avoir 
accelere la degeneration et la depravation Fran9aises, en affaiblis- 
sant les appuis de la morale, en rendant la conscience raisonneuse, 
en substituant a des devoirs observes par sentiment, par tradition, 
et par habitude, les regies incertaines de la raison humaine et des 
sophismes a 1'usage des passions ; c'est d'avoir rendu proble- 
matiques toutes les verites,et introduitce scepticisme presomptueux, 
qui conduit a de pires egarements que 1'ignorance ; c'est d'avoir 
ebranle tout ce que le temps, 1'experience, et la saine philosophic 
avaient consacre, et prepare ainsi 1'anarchie publique par 1'anarchie 
de 1'esprit. 

Leur legerete y concourut avec leur amour-propre. Spinosa, 
Hobbes, Vanini, Bayle, Collins, ensevelis dans 1'etude et meta- 
physiciens abstraits, ne cherchaient a etre lus et n'etaient lus que 
des savants. Quelque dangereuses que fussent leurs opinions, elles 
ne s'echappaient point au-dela d'un cercle tres limite. Mais les 
dogmatiseurs Parisiens precherent au public, dispenserent leurs 
lecteurs des connaissances, les seduisirent par les agrements de 
1'elocution. Repandus dans la societe, ils la penetrerent de leur 
doctrine ; renoncerent aux gros livres qu'on ne lit point, et demon- 
trerent 1'atheisme dans des romans, 1'imposture de la revolution 
dans des quolibets, la vanite de la morale dans des historiettes, et 
1'art social dans des proverbes. Avec des abstractions, des preuves, 
et des recherches, ils eussent ennuye le beau monde ; ils le con- 


quirent en lui apprenant qu'on pouvait douter de tout sans rien 
savoir, et savoir tout sans rien etudier. 

Comme depuis trente ans, aux pr6tentions de la naissance, 
de la fortune et du credit, il etait devenu indispensable a Paris 
d'ajouter celle d'homme d'esprit, pour en obtenir le titre on en 
caressait les distributeurs. De peur de passer pour un sot, on 
prit la livree de la liberte et de Pincredulite. Un courtisan, un 
colonel, un conseiller, ou une comedienne, honores une fois d'un 
brevet de philosophic dans quelque lettre privee de d'Alembert et 
de Voltaire, ou dans le Journal de Paris, se jugeaient immortels. 

C'est ainsi que Paris se couvrit de Philosophes. Depuis le 
marmouset imberbe qui begayait des blasphemes dans les bureaux 
d'esprit, jusqu'au Marquis de Vilette et au portier des academies, 
la Confrerie s'aggregea toutes les especes. Jamais un delire plus 
impertinent ne deshonora une nation. II y avait loin de cette 
prostitution Parisienne aux ecoles de Pythagore et du Portique. 
Qu'auraient dit Platon, pictete, Aristote, Montaigne, Leibnitz, 
Newton, et Locke, de cette mascarade introduite dans le sanctu- 
aire de la science et de la raison ? 

La frivolite de Paris fut done le puissant auxiliaire de la 
frivolite philosophique. Dans nul autre pays, les ecrits les plus 
audacieux n'eussent entraine une credulite si generate et si 
enthousiaste : dans nul autre pays, une secte effrenee n'eut ete 
aussi favorisee par 1'irreflexion et 1'exaltation naturelles des 

En general, lorsque dans les Gouvernements absolus 1'opinion 
a relache ses chalnes, elle ne tarde pas a les briser, et parcourt les 
extremes en un clin d'ceil ; par la meme cause qui multiplie les 
athees dans les con trees livrees aux superstitions. 

Qu'une Convention Nationale eut ete erigee a Londres, 
a Madrid, ou a Vienne, dans des circonstances analogues a 
celle ou se trouvait la France en 1789, aurait-elle offert ce 
spectacle de fous echappes des Petites-maisons, proclamant 
leurs lumieres comme la loi du genre humain, et d'une magni- 
fique hierarchic sociale, se reportant subitement aux elements de 
Petat sauvage ? Ici se retrouve le genie immodere, impetueux et 
confiant de la nation, imprimant a la R6volution le caractere le 
plus excessif. Les Fran?ais s'etaient assembles pour regler ou 
pour limiter la Monarchic ; ils en ont fait une Democratic royale, 


ensuite une Republique anarchique. Trop de fonctions exclusives 
6taient 1'appanage de la Noblesse : ils ont reserve les emplois a 
des savetiers, des copistes, des clercs de procureurs, des avocats 
de province, des moines defroques, des marchands, des juges de 
paroisse, des faiseurs de romans, des compilateurs de gazettes. 
Quelques privileges de cette meme Noblesse etaient abusifs ; ils 
1'ont degradee et depouillee de ses propri6tes : ils se plaignaient 
des richesses du Clerge, et n'ont souffert aucun milieu entre son 
opulence et sa ruine, entre son eclat et sa proscription. Des 
prejuges excommuniaient les comediens ; ils en ont fait des legis- 
lateurs. Les Philosophes avaient reclame la tolerance religieuse ; 
leurs commentateurs ont renverse toutes les religions. On ferait 
un volume de ce parallele. J'ose le terminer par une prediction ; 
c'est que la meme fougue ramenera un jour les FranQais, s'ils 
redeviennent maitres de leur sort, a 1'exaggeration la plus opposee. 
Mais le caractere le plus special que la perversite philosophique 
ait communique a la Revolution est celui-ci. Presque tous les 
siecles avaient vu de grands crimes, mais nul encore la theorie 
des crimes publics et prives, edge's en systeme d'Etat et en droit 
public universel, par des Ltgislateurs parlant au nom de la raison et 
de la nature. Ce nouveau genre d'hypocrisie ou de fanatisme etait 
encore inconnu. II fallait 1'alliance des doctrines du temps avec les 
moeurs de ses professeurs, pour produire ce tableau d'un Peuple 
regenere par I'ath6isme, par 1'assassinat, par 1'incendie, le brigan- 
dage, et le sacrilege ; ce tableau d'un Peuple dont les Re'presentans 
et les Chefs successifs ne commettent point le crime dans la fureur, 
mais le discutent didactiquement, le motivent, le deliberent, en etu- 
dient les moyens avec recherche, le preconisent avec eloquence, 
s'applaudissent a Papproche de ses succes, le prononcent avec 
solennite, 1'executent de sang-froid, et repondent par des eclats 
de rire aux lamentations de leurs victimes. 


Addington, 326. 

Administrative Chaos under Directory, 

230-1, 310. 

Admiration for England, 67, 287, 290-1. 
Agricultural Population of France, 227. 
American Colonies, 30, 34, 50. 
Anglomania in France, 73. 
Annalcs Politiques, etc., 17-20. 
Archduke Charles, The, 163, 169, 249, 


Aristocracy, Genevese, 4, 10, n. 
Assignats, 112, 231-6. 
Aubonne, 12. 
Augereau, 263. 

Babceuf, 229. 

Balance of Power, 31. 

Bale, Peace of, 192-3. 

Barnave, 103, 125 (note). 

Barras, 190, 201, 224, 262, 311. 

Barthelemy, 208, 260-1 (note). 

Bastille, 10, 100. 

Bel-Homme, Prison, 275. 

Berlin Correspondence, 186. 

Berne, 172, 203-4, 2 ^8. Diplomatic 
centre, 207-11. Family life and 
society at, 205-7. 

Bonaparte Napoleon, 27, no, 179, 201, 
256 (and note), 258, 262 (note), 263-7, 
269 (note), 278-9, 314-9, 333, 349. 

Bonstetten, 269, 279. 

Bourgeoisie, Lettre de, 2. 

Breteuil, Baron de, 135, 150, 163. 

Brissot, 55, 72, 85, 122, 133, 163. 

British Constitution, eulogised, 86, 87, 
88, 116. Prejudice against in France, 

Brumaire i8th, 1799 (Nov. 10), Bona- 
parte's Coup d'Etat, 315, 319. 

Brunswick, Duke of, 149, 150, 220-1, 
270, 283. Failure of his Campaign, 
154 (and note). 

Brunswick Manifesto, The, 150, 152, 

153 (note), 239. 
Brussels in 1793, 162-3. 
Burke, Edmund, 39, 48, 126, 130 (note), 

184, 231, 241, 242, 244, 285 (note), 

286, 345, 350, 356. 


Calonne, 79, 150, 301 (note). 

Calvin, 2, 5. His Consistory, 7. 

Camden, Lord, 48. 

Camp.o Formio, Treaty of, 270. 

Canning, 286 (note), 294. 

Carletti, Comte, 194 (note). 

Carlyle, Thomas. His letter about 

Mallet du Pan, 335, 342. 
Carnot, 184, 224. 
Cassel, 12. 
Castries, Marshal de, 147, 162, 198, 

205, 219, 220, 249, 257, 308. 
Catherine II., 143, 171, 177, 178, 350. 
Cavendish, Lord John, 48. 
Cazales, 103, 109. 
Celigny, 5. 

Censorship, 64, 65, 74. Abolished, 86. 
Chateaubriand, 91, 301 (note). 
Chatham's Policy, 36. 
Charter of 1814, 352, 354. 
Chesterfield, Lord, 20. 
Citizenship of Geneva, 2, 6, 341. 
Clapham, Mr. J. H., 151 (note). 
Claviere, 9. 

Clergy, French, 116, 117. 
Clermont-Tonnerre, Comte de, 102. 
Cobden, 31. 

Coblentz, 130, 142, 147, 160. 
Coburg, Prince of, 162, 170. Failure of 

his Campaign, 170-1. 
Coleridge, S. T., 346. 
Colladon, Madame, 121, 329-30. 
Colleredo, 172, 241. 
Collot d'Herbois, 179. 
Comite des Recherches, 117, 120. 
Commercial Monopoly, 32, 33. 
Treaty with France, 68. 



Committee of Public Safety, 176-9. 
Condorcet, 23, 26, 127, 359 (Appendix). 
Considerations, The, 164-9. Effect of, 

and fury of emigres, 168-9. Pitt's 

opinion of, 164. Burke's opinion of, 


Constitution of 1791, 125-6, igi, 224. 
of 1795, 224-5, 229, 259. 
Constitutional Monarchy, chance for, 

in 1795, igi, 201, 202. Establishment 

of, in 1814, 351-2, 353-4. 
Constitutional Reform, 1789,92-3. Party 

of, 94-5. 

Consulate, The, 317-8. 
Convention, The, 176. Finance of, 


Conway, 48. 
Correspondance Politique pour servir, 

etc., Pamphlet, 250-3. 
Crimes of the Revolution, 106, 118-9. 


D'Alembert, 23, 26, 361 (Appendix). 
Danton, no, in, 127, 134, 142, 155, 

D'Artois, Comte, 91, 174, 196, 199, 

219 (note), 282, 285, 303, 308-9. 
Dauphin (Louis XVII.), death of the, 

Debates of Assembly, Mallet's Reports, 

go-i, 118. 
De la Rive, 301. 
De Lisle, Abbe, 273, 305 (and note), 


Delolme's British Constitution, 86. 
D'Entraigues, 173 (note), 198. 
Depopulation of France, 236-7. 
D'Erlach, Baron, 159, 160, 268 (note). 
Descostes, M. Francis, 186 (note), 209, 


Desmoulins, Camille, 122, 337. 
D'Henin, Princesse, 215, 255, 269. 
D'Holbach's Systeme de la Nature, 24, 


Diderot, 26, 62, 359 (Appendix). 
Diplomatic Reports by Mallet du Pan, 

162, 172, 175, 185-7. 
Directors, The, described, 223, 254. 
D'lvernois, Sir Francis, 9. 
Domiciliary visits, 115, 120. 
D'OrlSans, Due (Egalite), death of, 181 

(Louis Philippe), 350-1 (note). 

Doutes sur I 'eloquence, 14. 

Du Barry, Chevalier, execution of, 181 


Dumolard, 267. 
Dumont, 9, 2gg, 301. 

Du Pan, Mdlle. (mother of Mallet du 
Pan), 4 . 

Etienne and family, 4 (note). 

Syndic, 4. 
Duport, 103, 124, 137. 


Economistes, 17, 33, 68. 

Elgin, Lord, British Minister at 

Brussels, 163, i6g, 172, 175. 
Emigration, The, go, 130-2, 146, 242, 


Emigres in London, 255, 2g2, 301, 304. 
England and France, 33-40. 

in 1781, ag. In 1797, 287. 
English manners, 294. 

Party System, 43, 44, 45, 47, 50, 

Esprit des Lois, 7, 14. 


Faction in England, 29 (note). (See 

English Party System.) 
Ferney, 8, 16. 
Fersen, Comte de, 150. 
Fitzgerald, Lord Robert, 210, 212. 
FitzPatrick, Mr. Walter, and Dropmore 

Papers, 199 (note). 

Fourbonnais, de, Traite de Finances, 68. 
Fox, C. J., 48, 67, 175. 
France and England, 33-40. 
Frankfort, Mission of Mallet du Pan to, 

145-155, 247. Coronation of Francis 

II. at, 148. 
Franklin, 265 (note). 
Fraternisation, Decree of, 170, 239-240. 
Fraubriinnen, Battle of, 279. 
Frederick the Great, 66, 265. 
French Revolution, influence of, on 

England, 39. 
Friburg, 272. 
Fructidor, I7g5, Decrees of, 189, 200. 

1 8th 1797, Directorial Coup d'fitat, 

257- 6 3- 


Gallatin, 207, 221, 288. 

Geneva, in eighteenth century, 6-8. 
Constitution of, 3, 10. College of, 5. 
Revolutionary troubles in, 9, 10, 
52-5. Revolution of 1794, and Pro- 
scription of Mallet du Pan, 273. An- 
nexation of, to France, 1798, Mallet 
excluded from French citizenship, 

Genevese, Character of, 6, 52, 341. 



Gentz, 91, 118 (note), 241, 333 (note), 

338, 342, 345- 
George III., 42, 210, 211. 
Georgel, Abbe, 273. 
Gibraltar, Defence of, 36. 
Girondists, 133, 239. 
Gladstone, Mr., 302 (note). 
Grave, Chevalier de, 292. 
Great Britain, 29, 35, 36, 67. War 

Policy, 213, 284. As an ally, 129 

(note), 285. Public Spirit of (1798), 

287-9 (Letter to Gallatin). 
Grenville, Lord, 172, 175, 210, 294, 325. 
Grey, Lord, and Whigs in Napoleonic 

War, 350. 
Grimm, 73. 
Grotius, 65 (note). 
Gustavus III., 143. 


Haller, Ch., 268, 300. 
Hardenberg, Baron, 186. 
Hastings, Warren, 69-72. 
Hoche, General, 262. 
Holderness, Lady, 321. 
Holland, 33, 41, 75. 

Huguenot and Calvinist ancestry of 
Mallet du Pan, 2, 341. 


Incendiary teachings in Geneva and 

Holland, 43. 
Indian Empire of Great Britain, 37. 


Jacobins, The, 163, 177, 346, 348. 

Jeunesse doree, 198. 

Joseph II., 16, 20. 

Journal de Bruxelles, 15, 58. 
de Geneve, 58, 59. 
Politique. See Mercure de France, 

Journalism, French, in eighteenth cen- 
tury, 56, 57 ; in Paris, 78, 85, 189, 
259 ; Mallet du Pan's ideal of, 18, 
19, 89, 105 (note). 

Kaunitz, 135. 



Lafayette, 126, 210. 
La Harpe, 15, 16, 59. 
Lally-Tollendal, Comte de, 
102, 214-5, 324, 325, 329. 

92, 94, 

La Marck, Comte de, 112, 114. 
Lameth, Charles de, 103, 220. 

Alexandre de, 125. 

Theodore de, 208, 210. 
Langres, Bishop, Duke of, 92, 93, 94. 
Lansdowne, Lord, 175. (See also Shel- 

La Pucelle, 8. 

La Reveillere-Lepaux, 223 (and note). 
Lausanne, 8, 18, 159. 
Legislative Assembly, 124. 
Leopold II., 128, 133, 143. 
Lescure, M. de, 351. 
Les Delices, 8. 
Le Tourneur, 224. 
Lettre a un Ministre d'Etat, Pamphlet, 


Liberalism, Taine's definition of, 348. 
Lille, Lord Malmesbury's mission to, 

286 (and note). 

Linguet, 14, 15, 16, 17, 55, 276-7. 
Liverpool, Lord, 281, 292-3. 
Loquacity in America, 44. 
Louis XVI., 34, 79, 81, 94, 104, 126-7, 

134-8, 145, 147, 151, 161, 340. Mallet's 

loyalty to, 127, 138, 174. Autograph 

note from, 148-9 (note). 
Louis XVII. See Dauphin. 

XVIII., 194-5, 197-8, 39, 34- 
Lyons, 226. 


Macpherson, Sir John, 163, 292, 326. 
Maison Mallet, 2. 

Maistre, Joseph de, 161, 250, 351, 355. 
Mallet, fitienne, 4. 

Henri, 330. 

Jacques (i), 2. 

Jean, i. 

John Lewis. Preface, and see 

Mallet du Pan, Jacques, 1749-1800. 
Ancestors, 1,3. Birth, 5. Champion- 
ship of the Natifs, 10. Acquaintance 
with Voltaire, 12. Professorship at 
Cassel, 12. Marriage, 13. Doutes sur 
I 'eloquence, 14. Assists Linguet with 
Annales Politiques, 17. Ideal as 
Journalist, 18. Religious opinions, 
22 (note). Carries on Annales alone, 
20-51. Action in Genevese Revolu- 
tion, 53. Memoires historiques, 55. 
Offered Editorship of Mercure de 
France (Journal politlque) : Life in 
Paris, 61. Comments on English 
affairs, and Warren Hastings' trial, 
67-72. Private Notebook, 77. His 
political education before 1789 



(Taine), 84. Reorganises Mercure, 
89. His analysis of Debates, 90. 
Champions Constitutional Royalist 
Party, 92. Love of music, 101. 
Threatened, 102. Friendship with 
Malouet, visits Geneva, 107. Opinion 
of Necker, 109; of Mirabeau, no. 
Domiciliary visit, 115. Defends 
Clergy, 116. Deprecates outrages, 
118. Second attack and suspension 
of work, 120. Resumes Editorship, 
123. Deputation of emigres ; adviser 
to Louis XVI. on question of War, 
135. Combats War, 138. Fresh 
attacks, 143. Abandons Mercure, 
145. Mission from King, ibid. ; goes 
to Frankfort, 146. Presentation to 
Sovereigns, 149. Conferences with 
Ministers, ibid. His instructions, 
151. At Geneva and Lausanne, 159. 
Goes to Brussels, 162. Relations 
with Foreign Ministers, 163. Siege 
of Valenciennes, ibid. Publication 
of Considerations on the Revolution, 
164. Fury of emigres, 169. Settles 
at Berne, 172. Notes to Elgin and 
Grenville, ibid. Further notes, 175. 
Vienna Correspondence, 186. Cor- 
respondence for Berlin and Lisbon, 
1 86. Mission of Sainte-Aldegonde to 
Mallet, 195. His reply to the Princes, 
ibid. Attacked by ultra-Royalists, 
198. Condemned to death at Geneva, 
203. Pecuniary resources, 205. Oc- 
cupations and society at Berne, 207. 
De Lameth intrigue, 210. Mallet's 
correspondents, 213. Description of 
France under Directory, 223. Criti- 
cism of Foreign Policy of Allies, 242 ; 
of the emigres, 243. Advocates 
Constitutional Monarchy, 244. His 
War Policy, 246. Despair at Italian 
Campaign, 248. Second Pamphlet 
Correspondance Politique, ,etc., 250. 
Lettre a un Ministre d'Etat, 254. 
Controversy with Malouet, 257. 
Letter to Quotidienne, 267. Cause of 
his expulsion from Berne, 268. He 
seeks refuge at Friburg, 271. Inter- 
course with Portalis, 274. Decides 
to retire to England, 281. Arrival in 
London, 283. Letter to Gallatin, 
288 ; Tourmentdu Silence, 291. Starts 
Mercure Britannique, 293. Neglect 
of Ministers, ibid. Success of new 
Journal, 300. Letter from Monsieur, 
303. Collision with ultra-Royalists, 
306. Interview with Monsieur, 309. 
Comments on Bonaparte's return, 

315 ; and on the Consulate, 317. 
Health fails, 320. Letter to Wick- 
ham, 321. Gives up Mercure, 324. 
Death at Richmond, 327. Funeral, 
329. Civil List Pension for widow, 
329. Character of, by Madame Col la- 
don, 330. Appearance and habits, 
331. Vicissitudes of his reputation, 
333. Carlyle's opinion, 335. Opinion 
of Taine, 338. Character of his mind, 
338. His independence, 339. His 
political competence, Carlyle, 342. 
Taine, ibid. Gentz, 343. Sainte- 
Beuve, ibid. His style, 344. His 
opinions on the Revolution, 345. 
His anti-Jacobinism, 347. Attitude 
in the War, 348. His foresight, 350. 
Comparison with Rivarol and De 
Maistre, 351. His championship of 
Constitutional Monarchy justified, 

Mallet du Pan, Madame, 13, 121 (note), 

155, 330 ; Civil List Pension for, 329. 
Malouet, 92, 93, 102, 104, 135, 161, 

216-8, 252 (note), 255, 256 (note), 257, 

269, 292, 306, 307, 325, 329, 355. 
Mansfield, Lord, 69 (note). 
Marat, 122. 
Maret, 90. 

Maria Josepha (Lady Stanley), Girl- 
hood of, 214, 215. 
Marie Antoinette, 81, 91, 133 (note). 

Execution of, 181 (note). 
Marmontel, 59, 62. 
Maurepas, 80. 

Maury, Abbe, afterwards Cardinal, 103. 
Memoires Historiques Politiques et 

Littcraires, 55. 
Mercure Britannique founded, 290, 295. 

Objects of, 295. Temper of, 297-8. 

Articles in, 299, 301-2, 307, 316-8. 
Mercure de France, 57, 59-61, 63, 64, 86, 

89, 90, 102, 105 (note), 106, 122, 123 

(note), 129, 131, 138, 139 (and note), 

140, 141, 143, 144. 
Mercy Argenteau, Comte de, 150, 163, 

Michel, M. Andre, 185 (note), 187 

Military aspect of American War, 46 

Dictatorship foretold, 139, 202, 253, 


Mirabeau, 72, 85, 88, 97-8, 110-5. 
Moleville, Bertrand de, 145, 150. 
Monarchy, prophecy as to the, 202, 

253, 353- 

Monsieur, Letters from, 282, 303. (See 



Montaigne, 122. 

Montesquieu, 7, 14, 26, 355. 

Montesquieu, 156, 158. 

Montgaillard, 198, 213. 

Montlosier, Comte de, 103, 161, 169, 

218, 255, 292. 
Montmorin, Comte de, 76, 94, 132, 135, 

136, 145. Fate of his family, 132-3 

Morris, Gouverneur, American Minister 

in Paris, 88 (note), 89, 91, 98, 103 

(note), 137, 152, 154, 338, 350. 
Mounier, 92, 94, 102, 197, 210, 211, 216. 
M tiller, 21 (note), 270. 


Nantes, Edict of, 20. 

Narbonne, Comte Louis de, 133, 208. 

Natifs, 10. 

National character of French, 25, 83, 

228, 337. 
Necker, 9, 17, 68, 91, 93, 94, 109, no, 

225, 339- 

North, Lord, 29, 44, 48. 
Notables, Assembly of, 79, 82. 


Observations historiques sur Paris 
(Mallet du Pan's private notebook), 

October 5th and 6th (1789), days of, 94, 
loo, 102, 121 (note). 

Opposition of Whig factions, 45, 47, 50. 


Panat, Chevalier de, 161, 255. 

Panckoucke, 15, 16, 57-60. 

Patriotism of eighteenth century char- 
acterised, 252 (and note). 

Peace with America, 49, 50, 51. 

Pichegru, General, 213, 258, 260, 260-1 
(note), 262. 

Pillnitz, Congress of, 128. 

Pitt, William, 29, 33, 67, 68, 164, 172, 
175, 256, 284, 285, 294, 302. 

Poix, Prince de (Noailles), 198, 219, 

255, 329- 
Polish Question, influence of on War, 

171, 183. 

Political Economy, 17, 68. 
Pombal, 19, 265 (note). 
Portalis and his son, 273, 274, 275. 
Letters from, 308. 
Portrait by Rigaud described, 320-1 

Pozzo di Borgo, 301. 

Pradt, de, 191, 192, 221, 344. 
Princes, The French, relations of 
Mallet with, 146, 147, 161-2, 169, 

194-7. 243, 303-4- 
Prisons under the Terror, 275-7. 
Public opinion, intolerance of, in Paris, 

102, 115, 117, 143. 


Quiberon Expedition, 199, 242. 
Quotidienne, three letters to, 267. 


Radstadt, 278. 

Reeves, John, 281, 291. 

Reminiscences by J. L. Mallet, Preface 
x., 4, ii, 12, 19 (note), 23 (note), 24 
(note), 59, 62, 99, 100, 101, 107, 155, 
156-8, 159-60, 203, 204, 205-7, 208, 
209, 211, 212, 217, 218, 255, 258, 260 
(and note), 268-9, 271-2, 273, 274, 
275, 276, 277, 278-9, 281-2, 283, 287, 
292, 293-5, 299. 300-1, 304, 35 (note), 
306-8, 320 (note), 321, 325, 326, 330. 

Retz, Cardinal de, 147. 

Revolution, Characteristics of French, 
298-9 (note). 

Rewbell, 224. 

Richelieu, Due de, 196. 

Richmond, death at, 326-7. 

Rigaud, J. F., R.A., 292, 320 (note). 

Rivarol, 337, 338, 345, 351. 

Robespierre, 124, 127, 134 ; described 
by Mallet, 179-80. 

Rockingham, Lord, 40 

Rodney, 19, 30. 

Romilly, Sir S., 19 (note), 88. 

Rosebery, Lord, 284. 

Rousseau, 6, 8, 9, 26, 27, 86-7, 355, 358 

Royalists, attitude of Mallet towards, 
146-7, 348. (See also under " Princes " 
and " Emigration ".) 

Royer-Collard, 259, 354. 


Sainte-Aldegonde, Comte Fran?ois de, 
195, 198, 219-20. Letters to, 199, 
201, 259, 262, 270, 279, 282 (note), 
285, 309. 

Sainte-Beuve, 312 (note), 336, 343, 344, 

St. Ouen, declaration of, 1814, 196. 

Saladin, 257 (note), 292. 

Sales, Marquis de, 160, 186 (note). 

Sartoris, Laura, 2. 



Sartoris, Leonard, 2. 

Saussure, de, 7. 

Sayous, 338. 

Sections, The 48, of Paris, 178, 201. 

Seeley, Professor, 30, 31. 

Sheffield, Lord, 214, 329. 

Shelburne, Lord, 48, 49. 

Sieyes, 190, 238, 311-4. 

Smith, Adam, 33, 68. 

Sorel, M. Albert, 130 (note), 151 (note). 

Souza-Cotinho, Don Roderigo de, 186. 

Spain, 33. 

Stael, Madame de, 133 (and note), 208, 
no (note), 345. 

States-General, 82, 83, 85. 

Steiguer, Avoyer de, 268. 

Suard, 57, 59, 62. 

Sumarau, Baron de, 272. 

Switzerland, Conquest of (i79 8 ) 2 7 8 - 
80. Destruction of Helvetic Con- 
federacy, Essay, 299-300. 


Taine, 28, 84, 90, 187, 237 (note), 334, 

336, 338, 342-3. 344. 347- 
Talleyrand, 81, 223 (note). 
Tallien, 190. 

Terror, 90. Reign of, 178. 
Theatre in Geneva, 8. 
Thermidorians, 190-1, 199. 
Thouret, 128. 

Thugut, Count, 171, 241, 271. 
Thureau-Dangin, P., 198 (note), 202, 

Times, The, obituary notice of Mallet 

du Pan, 327 (note). 
Trevor, Mr., British Minister at Turin, 

160, 209, 329. 
Turgot, 17. 
Turin Correspondence, 186. 


Valenciennes, Siege of, 163. 
Valette, M. Gaspard, 334. 
Varennes, Flight to, 119, 124. 
Vendemiaire, i3th day of, 201. 

Vergennes, 75, 76, 78, 80. 

Verona, Declaration of (1795), 195, 196, 

Versailles Library, 80, 

Vienna Correspondence, 185-7 > Direc- 
tory described in, 222 sqq. 

Vignet, Sardinian Minister at Berne, 

Voltaire, 7, 8, 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 
26, 27, 289, 357 (Appendix). 


War and Commerce, Union of, 32. 

War of Independence, 28 sqq., 46 

War with Austria, Approach of, 108, 
128-9. Attitude of Europe, 129. Of 
Assembly and Girondins, 133. Of 
Royalists, 133. Of Robespierre and 
Danton, 184. Of the King and his 
advisers, 134-5. Opposition of Mallet 
du Pan to, 138-41. 

War, The Revolutionary, Opening of, 
155. Character of, 163, 175, 177, 184. 
Character of under Directory, 238 
sqq. Policy of Mallet du Pan, 182-3, 
243-9,348-50. Policy of Allies, 171-2, 
182-4, 241-2, 245-6. Emigres, 242-3. 
Italian Campaign, 249. 

Washington, George, 319. 

Wealth of Great Britain, 42. 

Westphalia, Peace of, 50. 

Wickham, Mr., British Minister at 
Berne, 172, 211, 212, 278, 281, 292. 
Letter of Mallet to, 321-5. 

Wilberforce, 66. 

Windham, William, 257 (note), 281, 
293, 294. 


Yorktown, Surrender of, 29. 

Zurich, 271. 


H (Tlasstfieb Catalooue 













MOIRS, &c. 9 



WORKS ... . 38 

LATIONS, ETC. - - - -22 




MENT, &C. .... 36 




&c. 21 

FICTION, HUMOUR, &c. - - 25 












COLONIES, &c. - - - - ii 

&c. 17 







Abbott (Evelyn) - 3, 22 

Banks (M. M.) - - 24 


Dauglish (M. G.) - 9 

(J. H. M.) - 3 

Baring-Gould (Rev. 

Camperdown (Earl of) 9 

Davidson (A. M. C.) 22 

(T. K.) - - 17,18 

S.)- - - -21,38 

Chasseloup - Laubat 

(W. L.) - 17, 20, ai 

(E. A.) - - 17 

Barnett(S. A.andH.) 20 

(Marquis de)- - 13 

Davies (J. F.) - - 22 

Acland (A. H. D.) - 3 ! Bavnes (T. S.) - -" 38 

Chesney (Sir G.) - 3 

Dent (C. T.) - - 14 

Acton (Eliza) - - 36 

Beaconsfield (Earl of) 25 

Childe-Pemberton(W.S.) 9 

De Salis (Mrs.) - 36 

Adeane(J. H.)- - g 

Beaufort (Duke of) - 13,14 


De Tocqueville (A.) - 4 

Adelborg(O.) - - 32 

Becker (W. A.) - 23 

(H.) --- 13 

Devas (C. S.) - - 19, 20 

jEschylus - - 22 

Beesly (A. H.) - - 9 

Christie (R. C.) - 38 

Dickinson (G. L.) - 4 

Ainger (A. C.) - - 14 

Bell (Mrs. Hugh) - 23 

ChurchilK W. Spencer) 4, 25 

(W. H.) - - 38 

Albemarle (Earl of) - 13 

Bent (J. Theodore) - n 

Cicero - - - 22 

Dougall(L.) - - 25 

Alcock(C. W.) - 15 

Besant (Sir Walter)- 3 

Clarke (Rev. R. F.) - 19 

Dowden (E.) - - 40 

Allen (Grant) - - 30 

Bickerdyke (J.) - 14, 15 

Climenson (E. J.) - 10 

Doyle (Sir A. Conan) 25 

Allgood (G.) - - 3 

Bird (G.) 23 

Clodd (Edward) - 21, 30 

Du Bois (W. E. B.)- . 5 

Alverstone (Lord) - 15 
Angwin (M. C.) - 36 

Blackburne (I. H.) - 15 
Bland (Mrs. Hubert) 24 

Clutterbuck (W. J.) - 12 
Colenso (R. T.) - 36 

Dufferin (Marquis of) 14 
Dunbar (Mary F.) - 25 

Anstey (F.) - - 25 

Blount (Sir E.) - 9 

Conington (John) - 23 

Dyson (E.) - - 26 

Aristophanes - - 22 

Boase (Rev. C. W.) - 6 

Conway (Sir W. M ) 14 

Aristotle - - - 17 

Boedder (Rev. B.) - 19 


Ebrington (Viscount) 15 

Armstrong (W.) - 13 

Brassey (Lady) - n 

& Howson (Dean) 33 

Ellis (I. H.) - - 15 

Arnold (Sir Edwin)- 11,23 

(Lord) - - 14 

Coolidge (W. A. B.) n 

(R. L.) - - 17 

(Dr. T.) - - 3 

Bray (C.) - - 17 

Corbett (Julian S.) - 4 

Erasmus ... g 

Ashbourne (Lord) - 3 

Bright (Rev. J. F.) - 3 

Coutts (W.) - - 22 

Evans (Sir John) - 38 

Ashby (H.) - - 36 

Broadfoot (Major W.) 13 

Coventry (A.) - - 14 

Ashley (W. J.) - - 3, 20 

Brooks (H. J.) - - 17 

Cox (Harding) - 13 

Falkiner (C. L.) - 4 

Avebury (Lord) - 21 

Brown (A. F.) - - 32 

Crake (Rev. A. D.) - 32 

Farrar (Dean) - - 20, 26 

Ayre (Rev. J.) - - 31 

(J. Moray) - 14 

Craven (W. G.) - 14 

Fitzgibbon (M.) - 4 

Bruce (R. I.) - - 3 

Crawford (J. H.) - 25 

Fitzmaurice (Lord E.) 4 

Bacon - - - 9, 17 

BryceO.)- - - 14 

(R.) - - u 

Folkard (H. C.) - 15 

Bagehot (W.) - 9, 20, 38 

Buck (H. A.) - - 14 

Creed (S.) - - 25 

Ford (H.) - - - 16 

Bagwell (R.) - - 3 
Bailey (H. C.) - - 25 

Buckland (las.) - 32 
Buckle (H. T.)- - 3 

Creiehton (Bishop) - 4, 6, 9 
Crozier (J. B.) - - 9, 17 

(W.J.) - - 16 
Fountain (P - - n 

Baillie (A. F.) - - 3 

Bull(T.) ... 36 

distance (Col. H.) - 15 

Fowler (Edith H.) - 26 

Bain (Alexander) - 17 

Burke (U. R.) - - 3 

Cults (Rev. E. L.) - 6 

Francis (Francis) - 16 

Baker (J. H.) - - 38 

Burns (C. L.) - - 36 

Francis (M. E.) - 26 

(SirS. W.) - ii 

Burrows (Montagu) 6 

Dabney (J. P.) - - 23 

Freeman (Edward A.) 6 

Balfour (A. J.) - 13,21 

Butler (E. A.) - - 30 Dale (L.)" - - - 4 

Fremantle (T. F.) - 16 

(Lady Betty) - 6 

(T. F.) - - 14 

Fresnfield (D. W.) - 14 

Ball (John) - - 11 

Cameron of Lochiel 15 Dallinger (F. W.) - 5 

Frost (G.) - - - 38 


Page Page 

Froude (James A.) 4,9,11,26 : 
Fuller (F. W.) - - 5 
Furneaux (W.) - 30 

Cant (I.) - - - 18 1 
<aye (Sir J. W.) - 6 1 
<eary (C. F.) - - 23 
<eller (A. G.) - - 22 1 

slesbit (E.) 24 ' 
Mettleship (R. L.) - 17 5 
Vewman (Cardinal) - 28 ! 
Nichols (F. M.) 9 i 

sophocles 23 
ioulsby (Lucy H.) - 40 
Jouthey (R.) - - 4 
spahr (C. B.) - - 20 

Gardiner (Samuel R.) 5 
Gathorne-Hardy (Hon. 
A. E.) - - 15, 16 
Geikie (Rev. Cunning- 
ham) 38 
Gibbons (J. S.) - 15 
Gibson (C. H.)- - 17 
Gleig (Rev. G. R.) - 10 

Kelly (E.)- - - 18 , 
Kent (C. B. R.) 6 , 
Kerr (Rev. J.) - - 14 < 
Killick (Rev. A. H.) - 18 
Kitchin (Dr. G. W.) 6 
Knight (E. F.) - - 11,14 
K6stlin(J.) - - 10 
Kristeller (P.) - - 37 

Dgilvie (R.) - - 23 
31dfield (Hon. Mrs.) 9 
Dnslow (Earl of) - 14 
3sbourne (L.) - - 28 

Packard (A. S.) - 21 
Paget(SirJ.) - - 10 
Park(W.) - - 16 
Barker (B.) - - 40 

spedding (J.) - - 9. '7 
spender (A. E.) - 12 
Stanley (Bishop) - 3' 
stebbing (W.) - - 10. 28 
steel (A. G.) - - 13 
Stephen (Leslie) 12 
Stephens (H. Morse) 8 
Sternberg (Count 
Adalbert) - - 8 

Goethe - - - 23 
Gore-Booth (Sir H. W.) 14 

Ladd (G. T.) - - 18 
Lang (Andrew) 6, 14, 16, 21, 

Payne-Gallwey (Sir 
R.) - - - 14, 16 

Stevens (R. W.) - 4 
Stevenson (R. L.) 25,28,33 

Graham (A.) - - 5 

23, 27, 32, 39 

Pearson (C. H.) - 10 

Storr (F.) - - - 17 

(P. A.) - - 15. J 6 
(G. F.) - - 20 
Granby (Marquess of) 15 

Lapsley (G. T.) - 5 
Lascelles (Hon. G.) 13, 15 
Laurie (S. S.) - - 6 

Peek (Hedley) - - 14 
Pemberton (W. S. 
Childe-) 9 

Stuart-Wortley(A.J.) 15 
Stubbs (J. W.) - - 8 
Suffolk & Berkshire 

Grant (Sir A.) - - 17 
Graves (R. P.) - 9 
Green (T. Hill) - 17, 18 
Greene (E. B.)- - 5 
Greville (C. C. F.) - 5 

Lawley (Hon. F.) - 14 
Lawrence (F. W.) - 20 
Lear (H. L. Sidney)- 36 
Lecky (W. E. H.) 6, 18, 23 
Lees (J. A.) - - 12 

Pembroke (Earl of) - 14 
Pennant (C. D.) - 15 
Phillipps-Wolley(C.) 12,28 
Pierce (A. H.) - - 19 
Pitman (C. M.) - 14 

(Earl of) - - H 
Sullivan (Sir E.) - H 
Sullv (James) - - 19 
Sutherland (A. and G.) 
(Alex.) - - 19. 4 

Grose (T. H.) - - 18 
Gross (C.) - - 5 
Grove (F. C.) - - 13 

Leighton (J. A.) - 18 
Leslie (T. E. Cliffe) - 20 
Lieven (Princess) - 8 

Pleydell-Bouverie (E. O.) 14 
Pole(W.)- - - 17 
Pollock (W. H.) - 13, 40 

(G.) - - - 40 
Suttner (B. von) - 29 
Swan (M.) - - 29 

(Lady) - - 
(Mrs. Lilly) - 13 
Gurdon (Lady Camilla) 26 
GurnhilKJ.) - - 18 
Gwilt(J.)- - - 3i 

Haggard (H. Rider) 
11,26, 27, 38 
Hake(O.)- - - 14 
Halliwell-Phillipps(J.) 10 

Lillie (A.) - - - 16 
Lmdley(J.) - - 31 
Locock (C. D.) - 16 
Lodge (H. C.) - - 6 
Loftie (Rev. W. J.) - 6 
Longman (C. J.) - 12, 16 
(F. W.) - - 16 
(G. H.) - - 12, 15 
(Mrs. C. J.) - 37 
Lowell (A. L.) - - 6 

Poole (W. H . and Mrs.) 36 
Poore (G. V.) - - 4 
Pope (W. H.) - - 15 
Powell (E.) - - 7 
Powys (Mrs. P. L.) - 10 1 
Praeger (S. Rosamond) 33 ! 
Prevost(C.) - - 13 
Pritchett (R. T.) - 14 
Proctor (R. A.) - 17. 3 

Swinburne (A. J.) - 19 
Symes (J. E.) - - 2 

Tait(J.) - 
Tallentyre (S. G.) - i 
Tappan (E. M.) - 3 
Tavlor (Col. Meadows) 
Te'bbutt (C. G.) - i 
Terry (C. S.) - - i 
Thomas (J. W.) - i 

Hamilton (Col. H. B.) 5 
Hamlin (A. D. F.) - 36 

Lubbock (Sir John) - 21 
Lucan - - - 22 

Raine (Rev. James)- 6 
Ramal(W.) - - 24 

Thomson (H. C.) - 
ThornhilKW. J.) - 2 

Harding (S. B.) - 5 

Lucian - - - 22 

Randolph (C. F.) - 7 

Thornton (T. H.) - i 

Hatmsworth (A. C.) 13, H 

Lutoslawski (W.) - 18 

Rankin (R.) - - 8, 25 

Todd (A.) - 

Harte (Bret) - - 27 

Lyall (Edna) - - 27 

Ransome (Cyril) - 3, 8 

Tout (T. F.) - 

Harting(J. E.)- - 15 
Hartwig(G.) - - 3 

Lynch (G.) - - 6 
(H. F. B.)- 12 

Raymond (W.) - 28 
Reid(S.J-) - - 9 

Toynbee (A.) - - 2 
Trevelyan (Sir G. O.) 

Hassall(A.) - - 8 
Haweis (H. R.) - 9. 3^ 
Head (Mrs.) - - 37 
Heath (D. D.) - - 17 

Lyttelton (Hon. R. H.) 13 
(Hon. A.) - - 14 
Lytton (Earl of) - 6, 24 

Rhoades (J.) - - 23 
Rice (S. P.) - - 12 
Rich (A.) 23 
Richardson (C.) - 13, 15 

6, 7. 8, 9, i 
(G. M.) - - 7, 
Trollope (Anthony)- 2 
Turner (H. G.) - 4 

Heathcote (J. M.) - 14 
(C. G.) - - 14 

Macaulay (Lord) 6, 7, 10, 24 
Macdonald (Dr. G.) - 24 

Richmond (Ennis) - 19 
Rickaby (Rev. John) 19 

Tyndall (J.) - - 9- 
Tyrrell (R. Y.) - -22,2 

(N.) - - - ii 
Helmholtz (Hermann 

Macfarren (Sir G. A.) 37 
Mackail (]. W.) - 10, 23 

(Rev. Joseph) - 19 
Ridley (Sir E.) - - 22 

Unwin (R.) - - 4 
Upton(F.K.and Bertha) 

von) - - - 30 
Henderson (Lieut- 

Mackenzie (C. G.) - 16 
Mackinnon (J.) - 7 

(Lady Alice) - 28 
RileyO.W.) - - 24 

Van Dyke (J. C.) - 

Col. G. F. R.) - 9 

Marleod (H. D.) - 20 Roberts (E. P.) - 33 

' Veritas 

Henry (W.) - - *4 Macoherson (Rev. 

Roget (Peter M.) - 20, 31 

Virgil - - - 23 

Henty (G. A.) - - 32 
Herbert (Col. Kenney) 15 

H. A.) - - 15 
Madden (D. H.) - 16 

Rolls (Hon. C. S.) - 13 
Romanes (G. J.) 10, 19,21,24 

Wagner (R.) - - 25 
Wakeman (H. O.) - 8 

Hiley (R. W.) - - 9 
Hill (Mabel) - - 5 

Magniisson (E.) - 28 
Maher (Rev. M.) - 19 

(Mrs. G. J.) - 10 
Ronalds (A.) - - 17 

Walford (L. B.) - 29 
Wallas (Graham) - 10 

Hillier (G. Lacy) - 13 

Malleson (Col. G. B.) 6 

Roosevelt (T.) - - 6 

(Mrs. Graham) - 32 

Hime (H. W. L.) - 22 
Hodgson (Shadworth)i8, 38 

Marchment (A. W.) 27 
Marshman (J. C.) - 9 

Ross (Martin) - - 28 
Rossetti (Maria Fran- 

Walpole (Sir Spencer) 8, 10 
(Horace) - - 10 

HoenigtF.) - - 38 
Hogan(J.F-) - - 9 

Maryon (M.) - - 39 
Mason (A. E. W.) - 27 

cesca) - - - 40 
Rotheram (M. A.) - 36 

Walrond (Col. H.) - 12 
Walsingham (Lord) - 14 

Holmes (R. R.) - > 

Maskelyne (J. N.) - 16 

Rowe (R. P. P.) - 14 

Ward (Mrs. W.) - 29 

Holroyd (M. J.) - 9 

Matthews (B.) - 39 

Russell (Lady)- - 10 

Warwick (Countess of) 40 

Homer - - - 22 
Hope (Anthony) - 27 

Maunder (S.) - - 31 
Max Miiller (F.) 

Saintsbury (G.) - 15 
Salomons (Sir D.) - 13 

Watson (A. E. T.) - 14 
(G.L.) - - H 

Horace - - - 22 

10, l8, 20, 21, 22, 27, 39 

Sandars (T. C.) - if 

Weathers (J.) - - 4 

Houston (D. F.) - 5 
Howard (Lady Mabel) 27 
Howitt(W.) - - ii 
Hudson (W. H.) - 30 
Huish (M. B.) - - 37 

Mav (Sir T. Erskine) 7 
McFerran (J.) - - 14 
Meade (L. T.) - - 32 
Mecredy(R. J.) - 13 
Melville (G.J.Whyte) 27 

Sanders (E. K.) 9 
Savage- Armstrong(G.F.)25 
(Hon. J.) - - 13 
Seebohm (F.) - - 8, ic 

Webb.(Mr. and Mrs 
Sidney) - 2 
(Judge T.) 4 
(T. E.) - 19. 23 
Weber (A.) - '9 

Hullah(J.) - - 37 
Hume (David) - - i 

Merivale (Dean) - 7 
Mernman 'H. S.) - 27 

Sefous (F. C.) - - 12, 17 Weir (Capt. R.) 
Senior (W.) - -14.15 Wellington (Duchess of) 3 7 

(M. A. S.) - 3 
Hunt (Rev. W.) - < 
Hunter (Sir W.) - < 
Hutchinson (Horace G.) 

Mill (John Stuart) - 18, 2C 
Millias (J. G.) - - 16, 3<: 
Milner (G.) - - 4 C 
Mitchell (E. B.) - i: 

Seth-Smith (C. E.) - 14 
Seton-Karr - 
Sewell (Elizabeth M.) 2! 
Shadwell (A.) 4< 

West(B. B.) - - ^9 
Weyman (Stanley) - 29 
! Whately(Archbishop) 17. 9 
> Whitelaw (R.) - 23 

13, 16, 27, 3! 

1 Monck(W. H. S.) - ic 

Shakespeare - - 2 

, WhittalKSir j. W.)- 40 

Ingelow (Jean) 2. 
Ingram (T. D.) 

j Montague (F. C.) - ' 
5 Moon (G. W.) - - 24 
Moore (T.) - - 3 

' ShandlA I.) - - i 
Shaw (W. A.) - 
Shearman (M.) - 12, i 

, Wilkins(G.) - - 23 
1 (W. H.) - - 3 
5 Willard (A. R.) - 37 

Jackson (A. W.) - i 

' (Rev. Edward) - r 

7 Sheehan (P. A.) - 2 

j Willich(C. M.) - 3' 

ames(W.) - - i 
ameson (Mrs. Anna) 3 
efferies (Richard) - 3 

j Morgan (C. Lloyd) - 2 
I Morris (Mowbray) - i 
(W.) - - 22, 23, 24 

Sheppard (E.) - 
5 Sinclair (A.) - - i 
' Skrine (F. H.) - 

3 Witham (T. M.) - '4 
i Wood (Rev. J. G.) - 31 
1 Wood-Martin (W. G.) 22 

ekyll (Gertrude) - 3 
Jerome ( | erome K.) - 2 

27, 28, 37, 4 
7 Mulhall (M. G.) - 2 

5 Smith (C. Fell) - i 
3 (R. Bosworth) - 

a Wyatt (A. J.) - - 24 
8 WyliefJ.H.) - - 

ohnson (J. & J. H.) 3 
ones (H. Bence) - 3 
oyce(P. W.) - 6,27.3 

9 Murray (Hilda) - 3 

9 Nansen (F.) - - i 
8 Nash (V.) - 

3 ( T. C.) 
2 Smith(W.P.Haskett) i 
7 Somerville (E.) - 2 

5 Yeats (S. Levett) - 29 
8 Zeller(E.) - - '9 


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